One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Capable of grasping or holding; = "prehensile".
2Psychology and Philosophy. Relating to or involving a subject's apprehension of objects or events (which may or may not involve cognition); designating or relating to the interaction that exists between a subject and an entity or event.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Isaac Taylor (1787–1865), writer on theology, artist, and inventor. From classical Latin prehēns-, past participial stem of prehendere prehend + -ive.
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