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

  • n. The act of grasping or seizing.
  • n. Apprehension by the senses.
  • n. Understanding.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. the act of grasping or gripping something, especially with the hands

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of taking hold, seizing, or grasping, as with the hand or other member.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The act of prehending, seizing, or taking hold.
  • n. Apprehension; mental grasp.

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

  • n. the act of gripping something firmly with the hands (or the tentacles)


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

Latin prehēnsiō, prehēnsiōn-, from prehēnsus, past participle of prehendere, to seize; see ghend- in Indo-European roots.


  • Alfred North Whitehead, in Process and Reality, introduces the notion of prehension, that interiority is fundamental all the way down to the most basic levels of the universe.

    Consciousness Timeline: 1875-1945

  • Most F5 neurons, irrespective of their category, also code the shape the hand has to adopt to execute the act in question, so we find neurons which become active when the monkey uses the precision grip (which is characterized by index – thumb opposition and is particularly useful for picking up small objects); others which discharge when the monkey uses all the fingers of its hand to grasp the object (this grip is normally used for medium-sized objects); finally others, which are rather rare, that fire during whole hand prehension, also known as prehension force, used for large objects.

    'Mirrors in the Brain: How Our Minds Share Actions And Emotions'

  • Whitehead uses the term 'prehension' rather than 'perception,' because he doesn't think that entities like electrons are conscious, even though they do have a form of proto-perception, called 'prehension.'

    Larval Subjects .

  • It is about prehension--apprehension by the senses.

    Anis Shivani: Exclusive: Beat Poet Michael McClure On Jim Morrison, The Doors, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac

  • But the point, prehension, and then all that is experiential brings growth, pain and so MUCH BEAUTY.

    Sebastian Siegel: Manifesting the Moon

  • Firstly it passed the Felons' Ap­prehension Act which outlawed the gang and invited any­one to shoot them.

    Ned Kelly, Sidney Nolan and Australian heroes

  • In testing the new approach, monkeys were trained to make prehension movements, reaching and grasping various objects located at different positions.

    Brain Measurement Devices to Move Injured or Artificial Limbs | Impact Lab

  • The neurons that code the gripping of a sphere, for example, which requires whole hand prehension (pressure exerted by all the fingers), are different to those which code the gripping of a cylinder, for which the pressure of the thumb is not necessary.

    'Mirrors in the Brain: How Our Minds Share Actions And Emotions'

  • The doctrine of prehension, developed by Whitehead but also enthusiastically endorsed by Hartshorne, insures that the world is, in some sense, part of God.

    Process Theism

  • This is especially the case in the universe as conceived by process theism where feeling (prehension) is a metaphysical category.

    Process Theism


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