\ 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 Having ousted the Heat in the 2010 playoffs and then watched the Heat grab the offseason thunder with the signing of the Big Three, the Celtics pushed past the Heat 88-80 on opening night in 2010-11. Ira Winderman,, "Winderman: Heat-Celtics a rivalry with meaning, mouthiness, melodrama | Commentary," 8 May 2021 Stand facing a doorway and grab the right side of the door frame with your right hand. Jen Murphy, WSJ, "A Full-Body Workout to Shake Up Your Exercise Routine at Home," 8 May 2021 Foodies with fandom for Maitland’s growing culinary scene — and a desire to enjoy an al fresco evening with charitable intent in one of the city’s loveliest locations — may want to mark their calendars for May 13 and grab a ticket to Corks & Forks. Amy Drew Thompson,, "Corks & Forks foodie event will benefit historic Venue on Lake Lily," 7 May 2021 Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge Enjoy a free fishing weekend in early June or grab a camera to capture some of the most photogenic wildlife at this Shiawassee site in Saginaw. Minnah Arshad, Detroit Free Press, "18 safe and open activities to enjoy during pandemic in Michigan this summer," 7 May 2021 The man, now in his 20s, said Velasquez would often grab wrestlers' genitals and anuses while claiming the holds were legitimate wrestling moves. Bruce Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Former Racine wrestling coach charged with molesting, filming student athletes," 7 May 2021 Feast on meats carved tableside or grab a quick, carnivorous $15 lunch special., "Venice Pizza returns to Dorchester, Comfort Kitchen pops up in Jamaica Plain, and Brasserie says bonjour to Harrison Avenue," 6 May 2021 As Beijing now struggles to project its soft power globally, Taiwan could grab the opportunity to increase its influence, say analysts. Quartz, "China’s wolf warriors are undermining Beijing’s empathetic messaging on India’s Covid-19 crisis," 4 May 2021 This genre rewards aggressive gameplay, often encouraging members to continuously hunt down opponents and quickly grab loot. Washington Post, "Accessibility is part of the beauty of battle royales like ‘Warzone,’ ‘Fortnite’ and ‘PUBG’," 4 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Democrats called the override an overreaction and a power grab. Kaitlin Lange, The Indianapolis Star, "Lawmakers void all local COVID-19 restrictions with override of Holcomb's veto," 10 May 2021 In a speech Tuesday, Harris denounced El Salvador’s government, which moved over the weekend to dismiss five judges on the nation’s Constitutional Court, a vote seen by American and other foreign critics as a power grab by President Nayib Bukele. Noah Bierman, Los Angeles Times, "Mexico’s president criticizes U.S. aid policy hours before meeting with Kamala Harris," 7 May 2021 Some call it a power grab by Democrats to gain two more senators and point to possible constitutional hurdles. Kristina Peterson, WSJ, "D.C. Statehood Effort Stalls as Manchin Opposes Democrats’ Bill," 1 May 2021 But those aspirations have crumbled since Mr. Mohamed failed to hold elections when his four-year term ended in February, then moved to extend his rule by two years — a step many Somalis viewed as a naked power grab. New York Times, "The Bureaucrat From Buffalo Who Pushed Somalia to the Brink," 30 Apr. 2021 State Representative Shawn Dooley, a Norfolk Republican who recently lost to Lyons for the role of party chairman, said Lyons’ recent decisions look like a power grab, a claim Lyons denied., "Asian American Republicans accuse state GOP of pursuing discriminatory scheme to disenfranchise them in party elections," 30 Apr. 2021 Republicans contend changes are needed to ensure election security, while Democrats say the proposals are a partisan power grab. Jim Saunders And Dara Kam,, "Controversial elections changes approved by Florida House," 28 Apr. 2021 Offshore wind energy is only one solution in the renewables grab-bag. Time, "Biden Is Pouring Billions into Offshore Wind Energy. Will It Be Enough?," 6 Apr. 2021 Since January, Macron's government has instead imposed a nationwide overnight curfew and followed that with a grab-bag of other restrictions. John Leicester And Jeffrey Schaeffer, Star Tribune, "Paris doctors warn of catastrophic overload of virus cases," 28 Mar. 2021

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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Statistics for grab

Last Updated

13 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Grab.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for grab



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

More from Merriam-Webster on grab

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for grab

Nglish: Translation of grab for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of grab for Arabic Speakers

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