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

Starz’s The Rook, though, is strangely joyless, taking its grab bag of mood-board inspo elements and throwing in some Homeland along with X-Men, The X-Files, Harry Potter, and everything else flavoring its conceptual stew. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "A Supernatural Spy Story Goes Dark in The Rook," 2 July 2019 The cost to get Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to Brooklyn was extreme — a grab bag of players and three first-round picks plus a fourth coming via a swap of picks. Dan Woike,, "Anthony Davis trade brings a new look to Lakers and NBA free agency," 17 June 2019 For production duties, she's enlisted a grab bag of producers, but even Mirwais, who helped keep her career going on Music and Confessions on a Dancefloor, can’t rekindle any of those albums’ sense of fun or poppy concision. Jonny Coleman, The Hollywood Reporter, "Critic's Notebook: Madonna's Cringe-Worthy 'Madame X'," 14 June 2019 On Schedule A, Congress eliminated deductions for miscellaneous expenses, a grab bag of items. WSJ, "WSJ Tax Guide 2019: Other Deductions," 15 Feb. 2019 Trump is promoting a grab bag of new proposals as evidence of campaign promises kept while Democrats question the timing of the policy flurry so close to the elections. Catherine Lucey, The Seattle Times, "Trump pitches policy in final midterm message," 27 Oct. 2018 The assortment of chairs around the sleek dining room table, a grab bag of pieces by Jean Prouvé, pays tribute to Drouin’s grandfather. Samantha Weiss Hills, Curbed, "9 maximalist interiors that get the style right," 4 Sep. 2018 Cigarette smoke is a grab bag of chemicals — including 250 that are well-known to be bad for us, according to the National Cancer Institute. Rachel Becker, The Verge, "Is nicotine actually bad for you?," 10 Aug. 2018 Mars is fairly obvious, and Planets That Are Not Mars is a grab bag of loony, exciting, comic-book stuff. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "Inside the Jet Propulsion Laboratory: NASA's Crazy, Kooky, Legendary Research Facility," 3 Nov. 2016

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

13 Jul 2019

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
informal : a group or mixture of different things

More from Merriam-Webster on grab bag

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with grab bag

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for grab bag

Comments on grab bag

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


to form ideas or theories about something

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