"to cause to stop," also "to detain legally," late 14c., from Old French arester "to stay, stop" (12c., Modern French arrêter), from Vulgar Latin *arrestare "to stop, restrain" (source also of Italian arrestare, Spanish and Portuguese arrestar), from ad "to" (see ad-) + Latin restare "to stop, remain behind, stay back," from re- "back" (see re-) + stare "to stand" (from PIE root *sta- "to stand, make or be firm"). Figurative sense of "to catch and hold" (the attention, etc.) is from 1814.
"halted, stopped," 1610s, past-participle adjective from arrest (v.). Arrested development is attested from 1859 in evolutionary biology.
early 15c., restif, restyffe, of animals, "not moving forward," from Old French restif "motionless, brought to a standstill" (Modern French rétif), from rester "to remain" (see rest (v.2)).
Rare or archaic in the original sense; the prevailing meaning "refusing to stand still" especially of horses (attested by 1680s) probably is based on the notion of "unmanageable, impatient in restraint" in reference to a horse refusing to go forward (1650s).
But it also is perhaps influenced by rest (v.), an old aphetic form of arrest "to stop, check," and by confusion with restless. Compare resty in the same sense, 1510s of horses, c. 1600 of persons. Related: Restively; restiveness.
*stā-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to stand, set down, make or be firm," with derivatives meaning "place or thing that is standing."
It forms all or part of: Afghanistan; Anastasia; apostasy; apostate; armistice; arrest; assist; astatic; astatine; Baluchistan; bedstead; circumstance; consist; constable; constant; constitute; contrast; cost; desist; destination; destine; destitute; diastase; distance; distant; ecstasy; epistasis; epistemology; establish; estaminet; estate; etagere; existence; extant; Hindustan; histidine; histo-; histogram; histology; histone; hypostasis; insist; instant; instauration; institute; interstice; isostasy; isostatic; Kazakhstan; metastasis; obstacle; obstetric; obstinate; oust; Pakistan; peristyle; persist; post (n.1) "timber set upright;" press (v.2) "force into service;" presto; prostate; prostitute; resist; rest (v.2) "to be left, remain;" restitution; restive; restore; shtetl; solstice; stable (adj.) "secure against falling;" stable (n.) "building for domestic animals;" stage; stalag; stalwart; stamen; -stan; stance; stanchion; stand; standard; stanza; stapes; starboard; stare decisis; stasis; -stat; stat; state (n.1) "circumstances, conditions;" stater; static; station; statistics; stator; statue; stature; status; statute; staunch; (adj.) "strong, substantial;" stay (v.1) "come to a halt, remain in place;" stay (n.2) "strong rope which supports a ship's mast;" stead; steed; steer (n.) "male beef cattle;" steer (v.) "guide the course of a vehicle;" stem (n.) "trunk of a plant;" stern (n.) "hind part of a ship;" stet; stoa; stoic; stool; store; stound; stow; stud (n.1) "nailhead, knob;" stud (n.2) "horse kept for breeding;" stylite; subsist; substance; substitute; substitution; superstition; system; Taurus; understand.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit tisthati "stands;" Avestan histaiti "to stand;" Persian -stan "country," literally "where one stands;" Greek histēmi "put, place, cause to stand; weigh," stasis "a standing still," statos "placed," stylos "pillar;" Latin sistere "stand still, stop, make stand, place, produce in court," status "manner, position, condition, attitude," stare "to stand," statio "station, post;" Lithuanian stojuos "I place myself," statau "I place;" Old Church Slavonic staja "place myself," stanu "position;" Gothic standan, Old English standan "to stand," stede "place;" Old Norse steði "anvil;" Old Irish sessam "the act of standing."