The word "Arrest" is Anglo-Norman in origin, derived from the French word 'Arreter' meaning 'to stop or stay' and signifies a restraint of a person. Lexicologically, the meaning of the word arrest is given in various dictionaries depending upon the circumstances in which word is used. There are numerous slang terms for being arrested throughout the world. In British slang terminology, the term "nicked" is often synonymous with being arrested, and "nick" can also refer to a police station, and the term "pinched" is also common. In the United States and France the term "collared" is sometimes used. The term "lifted" is also heard on occasion.
- 1a : to bring to a stop <sickness arrested his activities>
- b : check, slow
- c : to make inactive <an arrested tumor>
- 2: seize, capture; specifically : to take or keep in custody by authority of law
- 3: to catch suddenly and engagingly <arrest attention>
An arrest is the act of depriving a person of his or her liberty usually in relation to the investigation and prevention of crime or harm to others and oneself as well. The term is Anglo-Norman in origin and is related to the French word arrêt, meaning "stop".
The word 'arrest' when used in its ordinary and natural sense, means the apprehension or restraint of a person, or the deprivation of a person's liberty. The question whether the person is under arrest or not depends not on the legality of the arrest, but on whether the person has been deprived of personal liberty of movement. When used in the legal sense in the procedure connected with criminal offenses, an arrest consists in the taking into custody of another person under authority empowered by law, to be held or detained to answer a criminal charge or to prevent the commission of a criminal or further offense. The essential elements to constitute an arrest in the above sense are that there must be an intent to arrest under the authority, accompanied by a seizure or detention of the person in the manner known to law, which is so understood by the person arrested.
Police and various other bodies have powers of arrest. In some places the power is more general; for example in England and Wales—with the notable exception of the Monarch, the head of state—any person can arrest "anyone whom he has reasonable grounds for suspecting to be committing, have committed or be guilty of committing an indictable offence", although certain conditions must be met before taking such action.