Definition of prehension in English:



mass noun
  • 1Psychology Zoology
    The action of grasping or seizing.

    • ‘In short, grasping food objects and small-diameter supports were probably key factors in the development of primate manual prehension.’
    • ‘After prey capture is initiated, jaw prehension is used to ingest the prey item.’
    • ‘Prey were captured in water using jaw prehension, triggered by visual or tactile information.’
  • 2Philosophy
    An interaction of a subject with an event or entity which involves perception but not necessarily cognition.

    • ‘Again, how far down you push a cultural background (or collective prehension) depends upon how far down you are willing to push individual prehension.’
    • ‘So prehension is a ferment of qualitative valuation which need not necessarily be conscious.’


Early 19th century: from Latin prehensio(n-), from prehendere ‘to grasp’.