Definition of apprehensive in US English:

apprehensive

adjective

  • 1Anxious or fearful that something bad or unpleasant will happen.

    ‘he felt apprehensive about going home’
    with clause ‘they were apprehensive that something might go wrong’
    • ‘In the absence of common interests states will be competitive, apprehensive, and even fearful.’
    • ‘Obviously I'm still nervous and apprehensive, but sometimes you've got to do certain things.’
    • ‘Another pause and she strained for the answer, nervous and apprehensive all at once.’
    • ‘And I must confess to being a trifle apprehensive in the days leading up to the concert.’
    • ‘Anyway… I never realised just how worried and apprehensive he was about her visiting.’
    • ‘For ten days or more I never heard a peep from him and I was beginning to feel less apprehensive about the whole experience.’
    • ‘The board of directors looked tense and apprehensive, anticipating the storm that was about to break.’
    • ‘Why were these people frightened and so apprehensive if he had committed no crime?’
    • ‘It was a mixture of anger, worry, and sadness with tears welling in her apprehensive eyes.’
    • ‘Our staff report feeling constantly afraid and apprehensive even when they are safe at home.’
    • ‘Her arms are crossed and her face apprehensive, but she claims she's not nervous.’
    • ‘Approaching exam time children get apprehensive and nervous about learning and become worried about making a fool of themselves.’
    • ‘The marines were pumped up for action, but also thoughtful, nervous and even apprehensive.’
    • ‘I am very nervous and apprehensive, particularly as the hours are ticking away.’
    • ‘An anxious start I was a bit apprehensive at the start of this week.’
    • ‘I was very anxious and apprehensive about going in to work.’
    • ‘A lot of those deals are very tight and clients become apprehensive.’
    • ‘If the horse gets apprehensive or frightened, his back tightens and shortens.’
    • ‘She wore an expression that could either be read as apprehensive or frightened, depending.’
    • ‘He invariably looks good, but his expression frequently verges on concerned and apprehensive.’
    anxious, alarmed, worried, uneasy, nervous, concerned, agitated, restless, edgy, on edge, fidgety, tense, strained, stressed, neurotic, panicky, afraid, scared, frightened, fearful, terrified
    View synonyms
  • 2rare Relating to perception or understanding.

Origin

Late Middle English (in apprehensive (sense 2)): from French appréhensif or medieval Latin apprehensivus, from Latin apprehendere ‘seize, grasp’ (see apprehend).

Pronunciation

apprehensive

/ˌaprəˈhensiv//ˌæprəˈhɛnsɪv/