c. 1300, shortened form of apprentice (n.). Related: Prenticeship; prenticehood. As a verb from 1590s.
late 14c., "grasp with the senses or mind;" early 15c. as "grasp, take hold of" physically, from Latin apprehendere "to take hold of, grasp," from ad "to" (see ad-) + prehendere "to seize" (from prae- "before;" see pre- + -hendere, from PIE root *ghend- "to seize, take"). Often "to hold in opinion but without positive certainty."
We "apprehend" many truths which we do not "comprehend" [Richard Trench, "On the Study of Words," 1856]
The metaphoric extension to "seize with the mind" took place in Latin and was the sole sense of cognate Old French aprendre (12c., Modern French appréhender); also compare apprentice). Specific meaning "seize in the name of the law, arrest," is from 1540s. Meaning "be in fear of the future, anticipate with dread" is from c. 1600. Related: Apprehended; apprehending.
also *ghed-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to seize, to take."
It forms all or part of: apprehend; apprentice; apprise; beget; comprehend; comprehension; comprehensive; comprise; depredate; depredation; emprise; enterprise; entrepreneur; forget; get; guess; impresario; misprision; osprey; predatory; pregnable; prehensile; prehension; prey; prison; prize (n.2) "something taken by force;" pry (v.2) "raise by force;" reprehend; reprieve; reprisal; reprise; spree; surprise.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Greek khandanein "to hold, contain;" Lithuanian godėtis "be eager;" second element in Latin prehendere "to grasp, seize;" Welsh gannu "to hold, contain;" Russian za-gadka "riddle;" Old Norse geta "to obtain, reach; to be able to; to beget; to learn; to be pleased with;" Albanian gjen "to find."
mid-14c., purloinen, "to remove; misappropriate; to entice (a craftsman or apprentice) from a master," from Anglo-French purloigner "remove," Old French porloigner "put off, retard, delay, drag out; be far away," from por- (a variant of Latin pro- "forth;" see pro-) + Old French loing "far," from Latin longe, from longus "long" (see long (adj.)). Essentially a doublet of prolong, formed in French from the same Latin elements. Sense of "to steal" (1540s) is a development in English. Related: Purloined; purloining.
game played with balls, mid-15c. (implied in bowlyn), from gerund of bowl "wooden ball" (early 15c.), from Old French bole (13c., Modern French boule) "ball," ultimately from Latin bulla "bubble, knob, round thing" (see bull (n.2)).
Noon apprentice ... [shall] play ... at the Tenys, Closshe, Dise, Cardes, Bowles nor any other unlawfull game. [Act 11, Henry VII, 1495]