If you're apprehensive, you're anxious or fearful. If you just got run over by a crazy bicyclist, you might be a bit apprehensive crossing the street.

  • Pronunciation: /,æprɪ'hɛnsɪv/
  • English Description: filled with fear 
  • Chinese Translation: 不安的(bu4 an1 de)
  • Spanish Translation: aprensivo
  • STORY: Apprehensive is from a Latin word meaning "to seize," and it originally meant "quick to seize impressions or ideas, perceptive, intelligent." Now it means "anticipating something bad, fearful of what may happen." Synonyms are afraid, which suggest a more immediate fear, and fearful, which suggests a more general temperament ("a fearful child"). You can be apprehensive about a situation while being an optimistic and courageous person in general.


  • Feeling apprehensive of openly photographing my fellow subway passengers, I rigged a camera inside a Kleenex box with a small hole in the front.
  • Even coaches untainted by last season’s bowl failures have appeared apprehensive this week.

*New word description, story and part of "EXAMPLE SENTENCE" are cited in