1

grasp

verb \ ˈgrasp \

Definition of grasp

intransitive verb
:to make the motion of seizing :clutch
  • grasping for support
transitive verb
1 :to take or seize eagerly
  • grasp the opportunity for advancement
2 :to clasp or embrace especially with the fingers or arms
  • grasped the pen and began writing
3 :to lay hold of with the mind :comprehend
  • failed to grasp the danger of the situation

graspable

play \ˈgra-spə-bəl\ adjective

grasper

noun
grasp at straws
:to reach for or try anything in desperation
grasp the nettle
:to act boldly

Examples of grasp in a Sentence

  1. I grasped the end of the rope and pulled as hard as I could.

  2. I grasped the rope by its end.

  3. His arthritis is so bad he can barely grasp a pencil.

Recent Examples of grasp from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'grasp.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of grasp

Middle English graspen

grasp Synonyms

Synonym Discussion of grasp

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

grasp

noun

Definition of grasp

1 a :handle
b :embrace
2 :hold, control
  • kept a firm grasp on the rope
3 a :the reach of the arms
  • The books on the top shelf were beyond my grasp.
b :the power of seizing and holding or attaining
  • success lay within their grasp
4 :mental hold or comprehension especially when broad
  • a remarkable grasp of the subject

Examples of grasp in a Sentence

  1. The author shows a weak grasp of military strategy.

  2. The books on the top shelf are just beyond my grasp.

  3. She moved the toy to within the baby's grasp.

  4. She felt the solution was within her grasp.

Recent Examples of grasp from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'grasp.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of grasp

see 1grasp



GRASP Defined for English Language Learners

grasp

verb

Definition of grasp for English Language Learners

  • : to take and hold (something) with your fingers, hands, etc.

  • : to understand (something that is complicated or difficult)


grasp

noun

Definition of grasp for English Language Learners

  • : a usually strong hold

  • : an understanding of something

  • : the distance that can be reached by your arms and hands


GRASP Defined for Kids

1

grasp

verb \ ˈgrasp \

Definition of grasp for Students

grasped; grasping
1 :to seize and hold with or as if with the hand
  • grasp a bat
  • You must grasp the opportunity.
2 :to make the motion of seizing
  • She grasped at branches as she fell.
3 :understand 1
  • He quickly grasped the idea.

2

grasp

noun

Definition of grasp for Students

1 :a grip of the hand
  • Keep a firm grasp on the rope.
2 :2control 1, hold
  • The land was in the grasp of a tyrant.
3 :the power of seizing and holding :reach
  • He put the tools beyond the child's grasp.
4 :1understanding 1
  • She has a good grasp of math.


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