\ 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 Now grab your tissues and prepare yourself to watch the original film. Gabi Thorne, Allure, "The Short Film Hair Love Is Being Adapted for a TV Series," 8 July 2020 Then there’s the account manager who had a white senior leader grab her hair, which was up in a puff. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "The NFL’s apparent new wokeness might be performative, but it still matters," 7 July 2020 Slip your forefinger through the circular part of the tool, grab it with your thumb, and use it to pull open doors or press buttons at an ATM. Popular Science, "No-contact door-openers to help keep germs at bay," 7 July 2020 And if your wardrobe needs an update, grab some chic heels or flats from Rebecca Allen or a minimalist swimsuit from Jade Swim. Travel + Leisure Staff, Travel + Leisure, "12 Black-owned Travel, Fashion, and Accessories Brands to Know and Support," 7 July 2020 Next time a snack attack hits, grab a handful of this yummy nut granola. Lesley Kennedy, CNN Underscored, "15 delicious keto-friendly snacks from Amazon," 7 July 2020 So grab a glass of shiraz and enjoy the triumphant return of Sierra Reed! Dalton Ross,, "Survivor Quarantine Questionnaire: Sierra Reed revisits fighting back on Tocantins," 6 July 2020 Along with a catchy headline, photos grab a buyer’s attention. Marc Saltzman, USA TODAY, "How to get the most out of eBay as a seller or buyer," 6 July 2020 With that said, pull up a chair, grab your favorite drink, and enjoy this mix of classic and new music from Goodie Mob, Mulatu Astatke, Donny Hathaway, and more below. Essence, "You're Cordially Invited To Listen To A Special Dinner Party Playlist," 3 July 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The usual continental breakfast provided with our stay was instead a selection of grab-and-go items and Keurig coffee pods. Skye Sherman, Travel + Leisure, "Why I Chose the US Virgin Islands As My First Destination After Coronavirus Restrictions Started to Lift," 25 June 2020 In May, Lindfors and D’Sylva took a three-month lease on another nearby location and launched a grab-and-go version of their fish shop—a pop-up offshoot that is likely to become permanent. Lydia Belanger, Fortune, "Pop-up retail was made for the pandemic," 25 June 2020 To reduce the risk of transmitting the virus, most of the lavish meals served in international business-class are now pre-boxed and served grab-and-go style. Jessica Puckett, Condé Nast Traveler, "Flight Attendants Are Finally Being Recognized For Keeping Us Safe," 17 June 2020 New Yorkers waiting for grab-and-go drinks—legalized especially for the pandemic—are socializing on line. Aarian Marshall, Wired, "As Cities Reopen, Expect to Wait in Lots of Lines," 15 June 2020 Since schools closed, the San Francisco Unified School District has given out more than 1.5 million meals at grab-and-go sites and via deliveries. Rachel Swan,, "Bay Area public schools struggling to respond to next big health crisis: hungry kids," 14 June 2020 Compounding the hardships of the coronavirus, some nursing homes have demanded that low-income residents turn over their $1,200 economic stimulus checks, a cash grab lawmakers want to halt. NBC News, "Outcry as some nursing homes try to grab stimulus checks," 10 June 2020 Some nursing homes have demanded that low-income residents turn over their $1,200 economic stimulus checks — a cash grab lawmakers want to halt. CBS News, "Lawmakers move to stop nursing homes from taking residents' stimulus checks," 10 June 2020 Some of the mostly peaceful demonstrations that erupted after Mr. Floyd's death were marked by bursts of arson, assaults, vandalism, and smash-and-grab raids on businesses, with more than 10,000 people arrested nationwide. The Christian Science Monitor, "Houston mourns the man, the symbol: 'Say his name, George Floyd'," 10 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for grab

Time Traveler

The first known use of grab was circa 1581

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Statistics for grab

Last Updated

11 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Grab.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for grab


How to pronounce grab (audio)

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on grab

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for grab

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with grab

Spanish Central: Translation of grab

Nglish: Translation of grab for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of grab for Arabic Speakers

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