March 10, 2012
apprehension (noun)
\ap-rih-HEN-shun\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
1 : arrest2 : an understanding of something3 : fear of or uncertainty about what may be coming
How do you use it?
"He knew her to be clever, to have a quick apprehension as well as good sense, and a fondness for reading, which, properly directed, must be an education in itself." (Jane Austen, Mansfield Park)
Are you a word wiz?

Which word do you think is related to "apprehension"?

We hope that A really grabbed your attention. Both "apprehension" and "prison" trace to the Latin root "prehendere," which means "to grasp" or "to seize." "Prehendere" is the ancestor of a number of other English words, too. It teamed up with the prefix "ap-" (meaning "to," "toward," or "near") to form "apprehendere," the Latin predecessor of our words "apprehension," "apprehend" and "apprehensive." When "prehendere" was joined with the prefix "com-" (meaning "with," "together," "jointly"), Latin got "comprehendere," ancestor of the English words "comprehend," "comprehension," and "comprehensive." "Prehendere" also gave us the words "comprise," "prehensile" (meaning "adapted for seizing or grasping"), and "reprehend" (meaning "to criticize severely"), among others.
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