\ 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.

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Other Words from grab


grabber noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for grab

Synonyms: Verb

bag, capture, catch, collar, cop [slang], corral, get, glom, grapple, hook, land, nab, nail, net, nobble [British slang], rap, seize, snag, snap (up), snare, snatch, trap

Synonyms: Noun

heist, pinch, rip-off, snatching, swiping, theft

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


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.


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

Following their typical routine, Drew and Nicholas grabbed ice cream after fencing that week. Arika Herron, Indianapolis Star, "'It was just us four': An Indianapolis mom prepares to bury her two teenagers," 5 Sep. 2019 Attackers may have even grabbed access tokens that can be used to log into services like social media and communication accounts. Wired, "Mysterious iOS Attack Changes Everything We Know About iPhone Hacking," 30 Aug. 2019 During the event, one of Bryce’s Hillcrest classmates (Riverdale's Hart Denton) grabs Jessica’s breasts, assaulting her in front of hundreds of people and proving the importance of the protest. Ariana Romero,, "The Timeline You Need To Understand 13 Reasons Why Season 3," 24 Aug. 2019 The better value is to grab Washington at -110 to cover a modest spread of -3. Esten Mclaren, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "Washington Redskins at Atlanta Falcons odds, picks and best bets," 20 Aug. 2019 PacMan or octopus, grabbing the first endosymbiont, in the ocean trenches? Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, "Tentacled microbe could be missing link between simple cells and complex life," 8 Aug. 2019 Those who knew them, and those who didn’t, grabbed their phones to broadcast conspicuous displays of grief. Bob Morris, Town & Country, "A (Candid) Guide to Celebrity Death Etiquette," 6 Aug. 2019 Pennsylvania scored two runs in the fourth to take a 6-5 lead before Burbank tallied two runs in its half of the fourth to grab a 7-6 lead. Charles Rich, Burbank Leader, "Burbank Senior Little League All-Stars conclude World Series," 5 Aug. 2019 In track and field, Wilbur grabbed the spotlight for the Falcons. Charles Rich, Glendale News-Press, "Looking Back: Crescenta Valley registers multiple championships in 2018-19 season," 31 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The hotel includes five restaurant concepts from a grab-and-go market to its Cut & Bourbon steakhouse attached to the lobby. Dallas News, "'A resort in the middle of Arlington': Live! by Loews Hotel is ready for its debut," 22 Aug. 2019 Snack Bar/Center Bar, the centerpiece of Sistrunk’s food hall, featuring an island Snack Bar offering grab-and-go items. Phillip Valys,, "A sneak peek at Fort Lauderdale’s first food hall," 15 Aug. 2019 As the diaspora matures, people sometimes want a grab-and-go taste of home. Los Angeles Times, "Two Iranian American food writers talk Persian restaurant menus and home cooking," 10 Aug. 2019 But one Houston company is working to make that sandwich a true grab-and-go experience. Andrea Leinfelder, Houston Chronicle, "Houston company's app allows airport travelers to order food on the go," 7 Aug. 2019 File this away for summer 2020: Garage-East Rosé Pops Another Garage-East grab-and-go summer favorite is the rosé pop — kind of like a wine Otter Pop. Georgann Yara, azcentral, "12 Arizona wines to sip by the pool this summer," 1 Aug. 2019 The couple also is adding a cafe with grab-and-go sandwiches, pizza, hotdogs and more. Domenica Bongiovanni, Indianapolis Star, "A Fishers theater has been quietly hosting shows for years. Now it'll be something bigger.," 9 July 2019 Roughly half the size of a typical Dollar General store, DGX focuses on grab-and-go items such as fountain drinks, coffee, prepared sandwiches, snacks and candy, according to the chain’s website., "DGX, Dollar General’s hipper, smaller concept store, opens in downtown Cleveland," 18 June 2019 This crunchy, cheesy sandwich is the ultimate grab-and-go meal for lunch or dinner. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "Pork Milanese Sandwich with Tomato Salad," 7 June 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.

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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

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Statistics for grab

Last Updated

8 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for grab

The first known use of grab was circa 1581

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on grab

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with grab

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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).


readily or continually undergoing change

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