grab bag


Definition of grab bag 

1 : a receptacle (such as a bag) containing small articles which are to be drawn (as at a party or fair) without being seen

2 : a miscellaneous collection : potpourri

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Examples of grab bag in a Sentence

Congress has proposed a grab bag of tax cuts. the festival featured a grab bag of independent films from widely disparate genres

Recent Examples on the Web

And on Saturday, Harrell and other sisters grabbed bags, gloves and blue and gold T-shirts and went out to do some service for their community. Cleve R. Wootson Jr., Washington Post, "‘Add “performing community service while Black” to the list of things that make you suspicious’," 15 May 2018 Don't be too quick to dismiss the $2-a-pop grab bags, which are usually on display toward the front of the store. Beth Kaufman, Good Housekeeping, "9 Money-Saving Secrets for Shopping at Michaels," 11 Feb. 2016 Charles Mingus perhaps came closest to turning a grab bag of approaches, from Dixieland to atonality, into a unified jazz stance. Ted Gioia, WSJ, "‘Heaven and Earth’ by Kamasi Washington Review: Musical Miracle Worker?," 20 June 2018 After Parkland, President Trump offered a grab bag of solutions: strengthen background checks, ban bump stocks, arm teachers. Haley Sweetland Edwards, Time, "School Shootings Are Becoming the New Normal," 22 May 2018 The National Transportation Safety Board has identified four incidents in recent years where passengers grabbing bags hampered an evacuation. Doug Cameron, WSJ, "Southwest Accident Shows Passengers Unprepared for Emergencies," 19 Apr. 2018 The supremely sarcastic superhero known for his maximum effort and love of Juice Newton and Salt-N-Pepa is back with another grab bag of classic hits and new bangers on Deadpool 2: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, "'Deadpool 2' Soundtrack Features Celine Dion, Run the Jewels, Lil Pump, Diplo, Air Supply," 3 May 2018 Having allergic asthma, however, means your body might pull from a grab bag of symptoms, mixing and matching in a way that causes overlap between typical asthma and allergy signs. Korin Miller, SELF, "5 Facts About Allergic Asthma, Which Is Just the Worst," 11 May 2018 From this grab bag, Hill identified 20 carved wooden objects that served as the seats of whaling boats. Krista Langlois, Smithsonian, "Why Scientists Are Starting to Care About Cultures Who Talk to Whales," 6 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'grab bag.' 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 bag

1855, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Dictionary Entries near grab bag


grab a seat

grab at/for

grab bag

grab bar



Statistics for grab bag

Last Updated

10 Aug 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for grab bag

The first known use of grab bag was in 1855

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More Definitions for grab bag

grab bag


English Language Learners Definition of grab bag

: a bag that holds many small gifts and that you reach into in order to pull one out without knowing what it is

: a group or mixture of different things

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for grab bag

Comments on grab bag

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the setting in which something occurs

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