\ 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 take hastily grab a bite to eat grab a cab
3a : to seize the attention of the technique of grabbing an audience— Pauline Kael
b : to impress favorably and deeply
4 : to obtain without consideration of what is right or wrong grab public lands

intransitive verb

: to make a sudden snatch



Definition of grab (Entry 2 of 3)

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



Definition of grab (Entry 3 of 3)

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

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Other Words from grab


grabber noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for grab

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Verb

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Choose the Right Synonym for grab


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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Introductory fares will start at $29 for those that can grab a handful of the discounted tickets. Dallas News, 20 July 2021 Climbers grab a variety of colorful plastic elements with hands and feet to make their way up, ranging from large to tiny, so small only a few fingers can pinch it, with rock-like crags or smooth edges. Rachel Blount, Star Tribune, 19 July 2021 Follow signs for any of the beaches or pop into Beach House to rent a lounge chair or grab a cafe frappé. Washington Post, 16 July 2021 Guests will walk into the 5,000-square-foot space, grab a ticket, place their order and seat themselves. WSJ, 15 July 2021 Go by yourself, pair up with your ride-or-die BFF (your version of Beth, perhaps) or grab your Kayce for a cute couple's costume. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, 15 July 2021 Watch as the cheese goes soft and ribbony in the heat, and the fat of the ham mingles with the butter and pasta water, and the shells pick up some of it and grab peas in their valves. San Diego Union-Tribune, 14 July 2021 When the haze of shock lifts, people will realize there is an opening in the power structure and various factions will try and grab it. Mitch Albom, Detroit Free Press, 12 July 2021 Ayton's 16 quick points helped the Suns grab a 36-30 lead early in the second period. Steve Megargee, ajc, 12 July 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Then, Monte Harrison ended the frame with a stellar diving grab of pinch-hitter Luke Williams’ liner to right field. Aaron Bracy,, 17 July 2021 Program includes silent and live auction, grab bags, paddle raise and other opportunities to donate. Laura Groch, San Diego Union-Tribune, 11 July 2021 Brunswick Library will be distributing take-and-make activity day art grab bags for teens during the week. Sam Boyer, cleveland, 9 July 2021 Angels center fielder Juan Lagares then ended the inning by robbing Xander Bogaerts of a two-run homer, timing his leap perfectly for a one-handed grab. Greg Beacham, ajc, 7 July 2021 Angels center fielder Juan Lagares then ended the inning by robbing Xander Bogaerts of a two-run homer, timing his leap perfectly for a one-handed grab. Greg Beacham, Star Tribune, 6 July 2021 Either will stop hard enough to dislodge any french fries hiding under the seats, yet the Porsche prevails with its 149-foot stop and the firmness and grab of its brakes. Tony Quiroga, Car and Driver, 6 July 2021 Brewers left fielder Christian Yelich, after seeing the grab, went up and gave Gale a high-five as Gale held out a marker for an autograph. Lorenzo Reyes, USA TODAY, 3 July 2021 Spoiler warning for the games: When the fungus starts taking over people in their home of Austin, Texas, Joel and Tommy grab Sarah and attempt to flee in a car. Nick Romano,, 2 July 2021

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.

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First Known Use of grab


circa 1581, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


1777, in the meaning defined at sense 1c


1608, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for grab

Verb, Noun, and Adjective

obsolete Dutch or Low German grabben

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Learn More About grab

Dictionary Entries Near grab

graafian follicle



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Statistics for grab

Last Updated

24 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Grab.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for grab



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)



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


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

Kids Definition of grab

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to grasp or seize suddenly



Kids Definition of grab (Entry 2 of 2)

: a sudden attempt to grasp or seize

More from Merriam-Webster on grab

Nglish: Translation of grab for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of grab for Arabic Speakers


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