\ 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

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



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


grabber noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for grab

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Other Revolutionary War wrecks have grabbed attention in recent years. Fox News, "Shipwreck of Captain James Cook's 'Endeavour' possibly discovered off Rhode Island, researchers believe," 16 Sep. 2019 In the streaming industry, $5 is a figure that grabs attention., "In the streaming industry, $5 is a figure that grabs attention.," 13 Sep. 2019 Byton M-Byte: The most eye-catching feature on this all-electric crossover is the 48-inch video instrument panel, but there are plenty of other reasons why the debut of the production version of the Byton M-Byte is grabbing so much attention. NBC News, "10 of the most powerful, expensive, exotic new cars at the Frankfurt Motor Show," 13 Sep. 2019 And even while facing civil allegations, Brown doesn’t seem to mind grabbing more attention. Henry Mckenna, For The Win, "Antonio Brown admonished the haters in a live video from Tom Brady's fitness center," 12 Sep. 2019 Being part of a football team ownership group certainly grabbed Marshawn Lynch’s attention. Michael Lerseth,, "Marshawn Lynch will be part owner of newest indoor team, the Oakland Panthers," 10 Sep. 2019 City council elections are normally low-profile, but the vote grabbed wide attention after several opposition and independent candidates were denied places on the ballot. Washington Post, "Moscow votes in protest-shadowed election," 9 Sep. 2019 The right back has made a good start to his career in Spain, registering an assist on his La Liga debut in Atleti's 1-0 victory over Getafe on the opening weekend, and has grabbed the attention of the England manager once again., "Gareth Southgate Considering Kieran Trippier Recall Following Positive Start at Atletico Madrid," 24 Aug. 2019 Amid the rising number of suicides,Epstein's death has grabbed the attention of the Justice Department like no other prison casualty. Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY, "Federal prison suicides were quietly rising before Jeffrey Epstein's death in a New York detention center," 22 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Brown showed impressive quickness off the line of scrimmage with his three first-quarter grabs, which all came against single coverage., "Every catch from Antonio Brown's Patriots debut | Week 2," 16 Sep. 2019 Had four catches for 111 yards, including a one-handed diving grab, and a TD, and added 83 yards in kickoff returns. Richard Obert, azcentral, "Week 3 Arizona high school football top performers," 7 Sep. 2019 But Shackelford’s 43-yard touchdown grab, which came despite Florence pass interference, capped a game-winning 91-yard drive. Reports, al, "Huntsville HS football: Randolph scores in final minute, Muscle Shoals wins big," 7 Sep. 2019 River Falls’ senior Payton Flood scored River Falls’ first touchdown, a 55-yard grab in the first quarter, and its last, an interception return 50 yards to the house to seal it in the fourth. Jace Frederick, Twin Cities, "High school football: River Falls beats Hudson for first time since 2008, and the rivalry lives on from here," 6 Sep. 2019 Kashmiris fear that the Himalayan territory, which is also claimed by Pakistan, will lose its culture and demographics in a Hindu land-grab. NBC News, "India leaves nearly two million people off citizens' list," 31 Aug. 2019 Kashmiris fear that the Himalayan territory, which is also claimed by Pakistan, will lose its culture and demographics in a Hindu land-grab. Washington Post, "Citizenship list in Indian state sparks fears for millions," 30 Aug. 2019 From the start, Hogan turned heads on the practice field, played big and strong over the middle, used his body to wall off defenders, his extended catch radius to make contested grabs, his sure hands to haul in just about everything. Joel A. Erickson, Indianapolis Star, "Colts release Krishawn Hogan despite impressive preseason from local product," 30 Aug. 2019 Moss hauled in 54 TD grabs (including 26 in '97, then a I-A record) and had at least one TD in each of his 28 career games. Kevin Allen, USA TODAY, "We're on a mission to identify the *best* college football player of all time: Here are the 64 contenders," 26 Aug. 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


circa 1581, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


1608, in the meaning defined at sense 1


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

3 Nov 2019

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


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

Keep scrolling for more

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

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).


meddlesome, informal, or unofficial

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Pass the Little Ribbons: A Pasta Word Quiz

  • rotelle pasta
  • Match the pasta to its meaning in English: Rotelle
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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