Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To stop; check.
  • intransitive verb To seize and hold under the authority of law.
  • intransitive verb To capture and hold briefly (the attention, for example); engage.
  • intransitive verb To undergo cardiac arrest.
  • noun The act of detaining in legal custody.
  • noun The state of being so detained.
  • noun A device for stopping motion, especially of a moving part.
  • noun The act of stopping or the condition of being stopped.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To stop forcibly; check or hinder the motion or action of: as, to arrest the current of a river; to arrest the course of justice.
  • To take, seize, or apprehend by virtue of a legal warrant or official authority; take into custody: as, to arrest one for a crime or misdemeanor.
  • To seize and fix; engage; secure; catch; take: as, to arrest the eyes or the attention.
  • To rest or fix.
  • In Scots and admiralty law, to seize (property) for debt or the satisfaction of a claim; attach or levy upon.
  • noun A mangy tumor on the back part of the hind leg of a horse. Also called rat-tail.
  • noun The act of stopping, or the state of being stopped; suspension of movement or action: as, an arrest of the vital functions; “the stop and arrest of the air,” Bacon.
  • noun Self-restraint; self-command.
  • noun Any seizure or taking by force, physical or moral; hindrance; interruption; stoppage; restraint.
  • noun In machinery, any contrivance which stops or retards motion.
  • noun In law, the taking of a person into custody of the law, usually by virtue of a warrant from authority.
  • noun In admiralty law, the taking of a ship into custody by virtue of a warrant from a court.—
  • noun In Scots law, attachment; seizure of property, funds, etc., by legal process, as for debt or the satisfaction of a claim.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To stop; to check or hinder the motion or action of
  • transitive verb (Law) To take, seize, or apprehend by authority of law.
  • transitive verb To seize on and fix; to hold; to catch.
  • transitive verb obsolete To rest or fasten; to fix; to concentrate.
  • noun The act of stopping, or restraining from further motion, etc.; stoppage; hindrance; restraint.
  • noun (Law) The taking or apprehending of a person by authority of law; legal restraint; custody. Also, a decree, mandate, or warrant.
  • noun Any seizure by power, physical or moral.
  • noun (Far.) A scurfiness of the back part of the hind leg of a horse; -- also named rat-tails.
  • noun (Law) the staying or stopping of a judgment, after verdict, for legal cause. The motion for this purpose is called a motion in arrest of judgment.
  • intransitive verb obsolete To tarry; to rest.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A check, stop, an act or instance of arresting something.
  • noun The condition of being stopped, standstill.
  • noun law The act of arresting a criminal, suspect etc.
  • noun A confinement, detention, as after an arrest.
  • noun A device to physically arrest motion.
  • noun nautical The judicial detention of a ship to secure a financial claim against its operators.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb take into custody
  • verb hold back, as of a danger or an enemy; check the expansion or influence of
  • verb cause to stop
  • verb attract and fix
  • noun the state of inactivity following an interruption
  • noun the act of apprehending (especially apprehending a criminal)

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English aresten, from Old French arester, from Vulgar Latin *arrestāre : Latin ad-, ad- + Latin restāre, to stand still (re-, re- + stāre, to stand; see stā- in Indo-European roots).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French arester ("to stay, stop"), from Vulgar Latin *arrestare, from Latin ad- ("to") + restare ("to stop, remain behind, stay back"), from re- ("back") + stare ("to stand"), from Proto-Indo-European *steh₂- (“to stand”).

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