grasp·​ing | \ ˈgra-spiŋ How to pronounce grasping (audio) \

Definition of grasping

1 : used, designed, or adapted to grasp When the eggs hatch, the first-stage grub … is a minute but highly active larva with well-developed grasping legs.— John Alcock His choice of surgical instruments includes everything from grasping forceps and trimmers to motorized shavers and drills.— Arnold Schechter
2 : desiring material possessions urgently and excessively and often to the point of ruthlessness Her grasping children fought over her property when she died.

Other Words from grasping

graspingly \ ˈgra-​spiŋ-​lē How to pronounce grasping (audio) \ adverb
graspingness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for grasping

covetous, greedy, acquisitive, grasping, avaricious mean having or showing a strong desire for especially material possessions. covetous implies inordinate desire often for another's possessions. covetous of his brother's country estate greedy stresses lack of restraint and often of discrimination in desire. greedy for status symbols acquisitive implies both eagerness to possess and ability to acquire and keep. an eagerly acquisitive mind grasping adds to covetous and greedy an implication of selfishness and often suggests unfair or ruthless means. a hard grasping businesswoman who cheated her associates avaricious implies obsessive acquisitiveness especially of money and strongly suggests stinginess. an avaricious miser

Examples of grasping in a Sentence

Her grasping children fought over her property when she died. a grasping person who would rather buy a car he didn't need than give a dime to charity

First Known Use of grasping

1577, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for grasping

see grasp entry 1

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Time Traveler for grasping

Time Traveler

The first known use of grasping was in 1577

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Dictionary Entries Near grasping

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Cite this Entry

“Grasping.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for grasping


grasp·​ing | \ ˈgra-spiŋ How to pronounce grasping (audio) \

Kids Definition of grasping

More from Merriam-Webster on grasping

Nglish: Translation of grasping for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of grasping for Arabic Speakers


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