I read a sentence in a chapter named "Indigo" which was:

Then he took a piece of paper and divided the group into pairs and put down the order in which each pair was to court arrest.

I can't really figure out which context has the verb "court" been used in here. Most of its definitions didn't help.

  • Interesting. I wanna know too.
    – user17814
    Apr 13, 2019 at 14:37

2 Answers 2


It's the "try to get" sense, second verb one, in Cambridge. Or the next one, regarding risk; it could be read either way, and I really don't see the two as being entirely distinct.

To court arrest is to do things with the aim of getting arrested, or that one might expect to lead to arrest.


This is the meaning used here:


to risk something unpleasant, especially by behaving stupidly or carelessly:

Drinking and driving is simply courting disaster.

Court (Cambridge Dictionary

A person might court arrest by making a habit of stealing, or driving too fast.

  • So would "court arrest" be a phrasal verb?
    – user17814
    Apr 13, 2019 at 15:06
  • 'Court arrest' is not a phrasal verb, which is a verb that is made up of a main verb together with an adverb or a preposition, or both. Typically, their meaning is not obvious from the meanings of the individual words themselves. 'Court' is a verb, and 'arrest' is a noun, and they have their ordinary, obvious meanings. Apr 13, 2019 at 15:36
  • Thanks for the enlightenment.
    – user17814
    Apr 13, 2019 at 16:12

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