grapple

noun
grap·​ple | \ ˈgra-pəl How to pronounce grapple (audio) \

Definition of grapple

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : the act or an instance of grappling
b : a hand-to-hand struggle locked in a desperate grapple with his foe
c : a contest for superiority or mastery their grapple with tyranny
2 : an instrument for grabbing or gripping something: such as
a : a bucket (as on an excavating machine) having hinged jaws

grapple

verb
grappled; grappling\ ˈgra-​p(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce grappling (audio) \

Definition of grapple (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to seize with or as if with a grapple (see grapple entry 1 sense 2)
2 : to grasp with the hands : wrestle
3 : to bind closely

intransitive verb

1 : to make a ship fast with a grappling hook
2 : to begin to understand or deal with something in a direct or effective way Officials grappled with an increase in violent crimes.
3 : to use a grapple

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Other Words from grapple

Verb

grappler \ ˈgra-​p(ə-​)lər How to pronounce grappler (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for grapple

Synonyms: Noun

clasp, clench, grasp, grip, handgrip, handhold, hold

Synonyms: Verb

rassle, scuffle, tussle, wrestle

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Examples of grapple in a Sentence

Noun

was simply unable to break my opponent's viselike grapple and lost the wrestling match after a grapple with his conscience, he confessed to having an affair

Verb

two sumo wrestlers grappling like a pair of mammoth bears a crane grappled the sunken boat and hoisted it above water
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

On the flatbed: a shiny orange Kubota BX25D-1 tractor with all the fixings: mower deck, backhoe, front-end loader, grapple, brush hog. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "The Year of the Tractor," 7 May 2016 Surveillance video shows the gun pointed at the clerk's head as the two grapple. Fox News, "Video shows robber, deli clerk grappling over gun," 18 Sep. 2018 His quick moves and heavy grapples look like an interesting alternative to the likes of classic melee character Captain Falcon. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Smash Bros. Ultimate confirms final features—and new fighters through 2020," 1 Nov. 2018 Meanwhile, technology firms are attacking all parts of the property transaction process with hooks and grapples to the blockchain. Joanne Cleaver, chicagotribune.com, "Could blockchain technology transform homebuying in Cook County — and beyond?," 9 July 2018 Though these attributions were already widely assumed, the White House's public acknowledgement is a key step as both the government and private sector grapple with how to respond. Lily Hay Newman, WIRED, "The Worst Cybersecurity Breaches of 2018 So Far," 9 July 2018 And that’s something that both this play and Dry Powder grapple with. Adam Green, Vogue, "In Kings, Sarah Burgess Tackles the Corrosive Power of Money on the Government," 21 Mar. 2018 In the sequel as in the original movie, the Parr family grapple with high-tech threats while surrounded by midcentury interior design and architecture. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "The Incredibles 2 Addresses the State of the Union," 19 June 2018 Humans colonizing the planet Pax grapple with the discovery that indigenous plant life is intelligent and may view them as a threat. Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "85 books for summer reading," 18 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Depressive episodes are on the other end of the spectrum, meaning someone is grappling with a debilitatingly low mood and energy levels for at least two weeks. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "8 Facts About the Link Between Bipolar Disorder and Psychosis," 7 Dec. 2018 But the president’s inner circle on immigration is grappling with the same problems that have plagued them for months, absent any law change by Congress. Colleen Long, The Seattle Times, "Trump struggles for a plan should the migrant caravan arrive," 23 Oct. 2018 Ye sounds like West is still grappling with how to accept being just the voice of Kanye West, and make that enough. refinery29.com, "Kanye West Struggles To Be The Voice Of Us On Ye," 4 June 2018 Since Hurricane Harvey devastated Texas' Gulf Coast last week, much of the flooding has subsided, however large areas are still grappling with huge amounts of water. Mark Collette, Houston Chronicle, "It's time to buy flood insurance, says Houston hurricane expert who almost flooded," 17 May 2018 But after investing over $100 million in him over the years, Arsenal is grappling with a much more perplexing question than whether or not Özil is supremely gifted. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, "English Soccer’s Highest-Paid Mystery," 7 Mar. 2019 Other European countries are grappling with similar questions about their citizens in Syria and Iraq. Karla Adam, The Seattle Times, "Shamima Begum, teenager who joined ISIS, to lose UK citizenship," 20 Feb. 2019 But Facebook users, in the middle of what seems to be a moment of broader cultural backlash against social media and technology, are also clearly grappling with the ramifications of their use of the platform. Aja Romano, Vox, "How Facebook made it impossible to delete Facebook," 20 Dec. 2018 Like humanity, Nightflyers is grappling with some serious problems. Samantha Nelson, The Verge, "George R.R. Martin’s Nightflyers asks whether humanity deserves to be saved," 29 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'grapple.' 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 grapple

Noun

1601, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1530, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for grapple

Noun and Verb

Middle English grappel grappling hook, from Old French *grappelle, diminutive of grape hook — more at grape

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Statistics for grapple

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Time Traveler for grapple

The first known use of grapple was in 1530

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More Definitions for grapple

grapple

verb

English Language Learners Definition of grapple

: to hold and fight with another person
: to try to solve a problem : to deal with a problem

grapple

verb
grappled; grappling

Kids Definition of grapple

1 : to seize or hold with an instrument (as a hook)
2 : to seize and struggle with another Wrestlers grappled in the ring.
3 : to deal with Leaders are grappling with the problem.

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More from Merriam-Webster on grapple

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with grapple

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for grapple

Spanish Central: Translation of grapple

Nglish: Translation of grapple for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of grapple for Arabic Speakers

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