grab

verb
\ ˈgrab How to pronounce grab (audio) \
grabbed; grabbing

Definition of grab

 (Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to take or seize by or as if by a sudden motion or grasp grab up an ax grabbed the opportunity grab attention
2 : to obtain without consideration of what is right or wrong grab public lands
3 : to take hastily grab a bite to eat grab a cab
4a : to seize the attention of the technique of grabbing an audience— Pauline Kael
b : to impress favorably and deeply

intransitive verb

: to make a sudden snatch

grab

adjective

Definition of grab (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : intended to be taken, seized, or grasped suddenly a grab rail
2 : taken at random grab samples of rocks

grab

noun

Definition of grab (Entry 3 of 3)

1a : something taken, seized, or grasped suddenly
b : a sudden snatch
c : an unlawful or unethical seizure a grab for power

2 chiefly British

a : a device for clutching an object
up for grabs
: available for anyone to take, win, or settle A lot of voters are still up for grabs.

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from grab

Verb

grabber noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for grab

Synonyms: Verb

bag, capture, catch, collar, cop [slang], corral, get, glom, grapple, hook, land, nab, nail, net, nobble [British slang], rap, seize, snag, snap (up), snare, snatch, trap

Synonyms: Noun

heist, pinch, rip-off, snatching, swiping, theft

Antonyms: Verb

miss

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Choose the Right Synonym for grab

Verb

take, seize, grasp, clutch, snatch, grab mean to get hold of by or as if by catching up with the hand. take is a general term applicable to any manner of getting something into one's possession or control. take some salad from the bowl seize implies a sudden and forcible movement in getting hold of something tangible or an apprehending of something fleeting or elusive when intangible. seized the suspect grasp stresses a laying hold so as to have firmly in possession. grasp the handle and pull clutch suggests avidity or anxiety in seizing or grasping and may imply less success in holding. clutching her purse snatch suggests more suddenness or quickness but less force than seize. snatched a doughnut and ran grab implies more roughness or rudeness than snatch. grabbed roughly by the arm

Examples of grab in a Sentence

Verb

I have to go back in the house and grab my car keys. The little boy grabbed onto his mother's leg and wouldn't let go. I'll grab a taxi and meet you there. Let's grab a bite to eat before the movie starts. The store had a lot of nice stuff, but nothing really grabbed me. The play grabs the audience from the opening scene. One player in particular has been grabbing a lot of attention lately.

Noun

a political activist who thinks the government's lease of public lands to logging companies amounts to an illegal land grab
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Hani pokes its head out to inspect the intruder before shuffling up to grab the pellets and return to safety. Andrew Nicla, AZCentral.com, "Late hours, no pay, diminishing returns: Scouring the Arizona desert for black-footed ferrets," 10 July 2019 In addition to the popular parade (go early to grab a good spot) and two stages featuring live music, this foodie enclave hosts chefs serving local favorites and food trucks galore. Jessica Leigh Mattern, Country Living, "24 Halloween Celebrations Across America to Spook Your Socks Off," 8 July 2019 The items should be stored in a ready-to-grab waterproof bag or container, such as a plastic tub. Ramona Sentinel, "Strong quake prompts preparedness reminders from county," 5 July 2019 Ames at one point tried to grab Conklin's service weapon and equipment on Payne's vest, records said. Brieanna J. Frank, azcentral, "Phoenix couple in viral police video criticizes release of Tempe DUI video," 4 July 2019 This isn't the first time that another big-box retailer has tried to grab a piece of the Prime Day pie. Emily Ruane, refinery29.com, "eBay Is Trolling Amazon With Its “Crash Day” Sale Event," 30 June 2019 Martínez returned and was able to grab Valeria, but the current swept them both away. Peter Orsi And Amy Guthrie, chicagotribune.com, "A grim border drowning underlines peril facing many migrants," 26 June 2019 Although plans are afoot to grab lunar real estate, extracting resources such as rare elements and shipping them back to Earth is a long-term goal. Adam Mann, Scientific American, "The New Scramble for the Moon," 26 June 2019 Martínez returned and was able to grab Valeria, but the current swept them both away. Author: Peter Orsi, Amy Guthrie, Anchorage Daily News, "Drowning of migrant father and daughter in Rio Grande highlights migrants’ perils," 25 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The state’s off-year election will be closely watched because Virginia is the only state where control of the Legislature is up for grabs in 2019. USA TODAY, "Crystal Cathedral reborn Catholic, 'Conjuring' house, Wiki ‘editathon’: News from around our 50 states," 11 July 2019 But new data shows that politicians who ignore disabled Americans may be missing out on a growing group of voters whose support could be up for grabs in 2020 — and activists are hoping to take advantage of this momentum. Abigail Abrams, Time, "Voter Turnout Surged Among People With Disabilities Last Year. Activists Want to Make Sure That Continues in 2020," 10 July 2019 Republican incumbents in North Carolina, Colorado, and Georgia are facing reelection battles and open seats in New Mexico and Arizona are up for grabs. Eleanor Watson, CBS News, "New data indicates a massive surge in Hispanic voter turnout," 10 July 2019 The state’s off-year election will be closely watched because Virginia is the only state where control of the Legislature is up for grabs in 2019. Washington Post, "Virginia is now election battleground in fight over gun laws," 10 July 2019 While there are few, if any, receivers who can match OBJ stat for stat, Tate should benefit from the 24.7% target share and 8.8 targets per game up for grabs. Conor Orr, SI.com, "The 2019 Fantasy Football Boring All-Star Team," 8 July 2019 The Bruins, who lost skilled third-liner Marcus Johansson to the Sabres in free agency and heavy fourth-liner Noel Acciari to the Panthers, could have at least two spots on the wings up for grabs. Matt Porter, BostonGlobe.com, "Peter Cehlarik reportedly signs one-year deal with Bruins," 7 July 2019 This has left the topic of what ancient crocodilians ate very much up for grabs. The Economist, "Vegetarian crocodiles once roamed the world," 28 June 2019 The office tower that's up for grabs is next door to the new 28-story Hall Arts Residences condos and hotel which is nearby completion. Steve Brown, Dallas News, "Downtown Dallas tower up for grabs could set new skyline price," 27 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'grab.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of grab

Verb

circa 1581, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Adjective

1608, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1777, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for grab

Verb, Adjective, and Noun

obsolete Dutch or Low German grabben

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about grab

Statistics for grab

Last Updated

14 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for grab

The first known use of grab was circa 1581

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for grab

grab

verb

English Language Learners Definition of grab

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to quickly take and hold (someone or something) with your hand or arms
: to take or get (something) in a quick and informal way
: to get the attention or interest of (someone or something)

grab

noun

English Language Learners Definition of grab (Entry 2 of 2)

: a quick attempt to take or get something
: the act of taking something in a forceful or illegal way

grab

verb
\ ˈgrab How to pronounce grab (audio) \
grabbed; grabbing

Kids Definition of grab

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to grasp or seize suddenly

grab

noun

Kids Definition of grab (Entry 2 of 2)

: a sudden attempt to grasp or seize

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on grab

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with grab

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for grab

Spanish Central: Translation of grab

Nglish: Translation of grab for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of grab for Arabic Speakers

Comments on grab

What made you want to look up grab? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to complain fretfully

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!