Ap·pre·hend v. t. [imp. & p. p. Apprehended; p. pr. & vb. n. Apprehending.]
1. To take or seize; to take hold of. [Archaic]
We have two hands to apprehend it. --Jer. Taylor.
2. Hence: To take or seize (a person) by legal process; to arrest; as, to apprehend a criminal.
3. To take hold of with the understanding, that is, to conceive in the mind; to become cognizant of; to understand; to recognize; to consider.
This suspicion of Earl Reimund, though at first but a buzz, soon got a sting in the king's head, and he violently apprehended it. --Fuller.
The eternal laws, such as the heroic age apprehended them. --Gladstone.
4. To know or learn with certainty. [Obs.]
G. You are too much distrustful of my truth.
E. Then you must give me leave to apprehend
The means and manner how. --Beau. & Fl.
5. To anticipate; esp., to anticipate with anxiety, dread, or fear; to fear.
The opposition had more reason than the king to apprehend violence. --Macaulay.
Syn: -- To catch; seize; arrest; detain; capture; conceive; understand; imagine; believe; fear; dread.
Usage: -- To Apprehend, Comprehend. These words come into comparison as describing acts of the mind. Apprehend denotes the laying hold of a thing mentally, so as to understand it clearly, at least in part. Comprehend denotes the embracing or understanding it in all its compass and extent. We may apprehended many truths which we do not comprehend. The very idea of God supposes that he may be apprehended, though not comprehended, by rational beings. “We may apprehended much of Shakespeare's aim and intention in the character of Hamlet or King Lear; but few will claim that they have comprehended all that is embraced in these characters.”