1

grab

verb \ ˈgrab \
Updated on: 16 Nov 2017

Definition of grab

grabbed; grabbing
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
4 a : 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

grabber

noun

Examples of grab in a Sentence

  1. I have to go back in the house and grab my car keys.

  2. The little boy grabbed onto his mother's leg and wouldn't let go.

  3. I'll grab a taxi and meet you there.

  4. Let's grab a bite to eat before the movie starts.

  5. The store had a lot of nice stuff, but nothing really grabbed me.

  6. The play grabs the audience from the opening scene.

  7. One player in particular has been grabbing a lot of attention lately.

Recent Examples of grab from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of grab

obsolete Dutch or Low German grabben

grab Synonyms

Synonyms
bag, capture, collar, cop [slang], corral, get, glom, catch, grapple, hook, land, nab, nail, net, nobble [British slang], rap, seize, snag, snap (up), snare, snatch, trap
Antonyms
miss
Related Words
glove, halter, lasso, rope; apprehend, arrest, detain; bay, corner; clasp, clutch, fasten (on), fist, grasp, grip, hold, latch (on or onto), secure; rend, wrest; enmesh (also immesh), ensnare, entangle, entrap, mesh; abduct, kidnap, spirit (away or off)
Near Antonyms
discharge, free, liberate, release; drop, loosen, unhand

Synonym Discussion of 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

2

grab

adjective

Definition of grab

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

Recent Examples of grab from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of grab

see 1grab


3

grab

noun

Definition of grab

1 a : 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
b : clamshell 2a
up for grabs
: available for anyone to take, win, or settle
  • A lot of voters are still up for grabs.

Examples of grab in a Sentence

  1. a political activist who thinks the government's lease of public lands to logging companies amounts to an illegal land grab

Recent Examples of grab from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of grab

see 1grab

grab Synonyms



GRAB Defined for English Language Learners

grab

verb

Definition of grab for English Language Learners

  • : 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)


grab

noun

Definition of grab for English Language Learners

  • : a quick attempt to take or get something

  • : the act of taking something in a forceful or illegal way


GRAB Defined for Kids

1

grab

verb \ ˈgrab \

Definition of grab for Students

grabbed; grabbing
: to grasp or seize suddenly

2

grab

noun

Definition of grab for Students

: a sudden attempt to grasp or seize


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