"one bound by legal agreement to an employer to learn a craft or trade," c. 1300, from Old French aprentiz "someone learning" (13c., Modern French apprenti, taking the older form as a plural), also as an adjective, "unskilled, inexperienced," from aprendre "to learn; to teach" (Modern French apprendre), contracted from Latin apprehendere "take hold of, grasp" mentally or physically, in Medieval Latin "to learn" (see apprehend). Shortened form prentice, prentis long was more usual in English.
"to bind to a master for instruction in his craft," 1630s, from apprentice (n.). Related: Apprenticed; apprenticing.
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