\ ˈgrip How to pronounce grip (audio) \
gripped; gripping

Definition of grip

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to seize or hold firmly gripped the door handle
2 : to hold the interest of strongly a story that grips the reader



Definition of grip (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : a strong or tenacious grasp had a good grip on the tennis racket
b : strength in gripping
c : manner or style of gripping the balanced grip of an expert golfer
2a : a firm tenacious hold typically giving control, mastery, or understanding has the country in his grip
b : mental grasp can't seem to get a grip[=gain a good understanding of] on calculus … I'm curious to see if preteens have a grip on this fairly sophisticated concept.— John Hoffman
3 : a part or device for gripping
4 : a part by which something is grasped especially : handle
5 : suitcase
6a : a stage worker who handles scenery, properties, or lights : stagehand
b : a technician on a motion-picture or television set who handles and maintains equipment (such as cameras and their dollies and cranes)

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Other Words from grip


gripper noun
grippingly \ ˈgri-​piŋ-​lē How to pronounce grippingly (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms for grip

Synonyms: Verb

clench, cling (to), clutch, hold

Synonyms: Noun

carry-on, carryall, handbag, holdall [chiefly British], portmanteau, suitcase, traveling bag, wallet

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Examples of grip in a Sentence


The little boy gripped his mother's hand tightly. I gripped the door handle and pulled as hard as I could. The story really grips the reader. The scandal has gripped the nation.


His tennis instructor showed him the proper backhand grip. a golfer with an incorrect grip He has been doing all he can to maintain his grip on the company's finances. I need new grips for my golf clubs.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The result is a film that’s in equal measure gripping and frustrating, a work of nonfiction in which the elision of many factual elements, in the interest of compact dramaturgy, makes an extraordinary true story feel fabricated. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "“Honeyland,” Reviewed: A Gripping, Frustrating Documentary About a Beekeeper’s Fragile Isolation," 1 Aug. 2019 Legacy stared, gripping the tennis ball she’d been tossed. Melody Chiu,, "Get a First Look at Kobe Bryant's Upcoming Young Adult Novel Legacy and The Queen," 26 July 2019 While some readers like brainless romantic books for the beach, others prefer gripping thrillers, like this new release. Lindsay Tigar, CNN Underscored, "These Amazon best-selling books are the ultimate beach reads," 25 July 2019 The good news is that the heat wave gripping much of the country is subsiding. Petra Cahill, NBC News, "Iran claims capture of 17 spies, Mueller preview & heat wave relief: The Morning Rundown," 22 July 2019 Some people might prefer griping and swatting to being spritzed with chemicals. Ask Amy,, "Ask Amy: Mother-in-law’s friendship with husband’s ex-wife causes family rift," 19 July 2019 Some people might prefer griping and swatting to being spritzed with chemicals. Amy Dickinson, Detroit Free Press, "Mother-in-law’s friendship with ex is disruptive," 19 July 2019 As the planet warms, heat waves like the one gripping much of the United States will become more common. Benjamin Storrow, Scientific American, "As Temperatures Soar During Heat Wave, So Will CO2," 19 July 2019 Some people might prefer griping and swatting to being spritzed with chemicals. Amy Dickinson, The Denver Post, "Ask Amy: Mother-in-law’s friendship with ex is disruptive," 19 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The gunman claimed allegiance to the Avenues, a once-powerful gang that has lost its grip on the neighborhood in the last decade, and said Diaz and his group were in its territory, a law enforcement source said. Los Angeles Times, "Suspects in killing of off-duty LAPD officer identified," 3 Aug. 2019 The child is seen holding on to a ledge before losing his grip. Fox News, "DISTURBING VIDEO: Child survives six-story fall, lands in blanket held by onlookers below," 31 July 2019 And with the loss of command, Treinen lost his strong grip on the A’s closer position. Shayna Rubin, The Mercury News, "How key Oakland Athletics’ arms may return in time for postseason push," 30 July 2019 Encarnacion lost his grip and whipped his bat past the mound whiffing on strike three in the second inning. Jake Seiner,, "Encarnacion, ex-Rockies help Yankees beat Colorado 8-2," 20 July 2019 The 1-year-old girl's grandfather apparently lost his grip while holding her near a window on the ship. CBS News, "Grandfather who dropped 1-year-old girl from cruise ship in apparent accident could face charges," 9 July 2019 Lacking international support, Mr Plahotniuc is losing his grip on power. The Economist, "Russia and America both want Moldova’s ruling oligarch to go," 14 June 2019 Essentially, Facebook has a long-term problem of becoming AOL or CompuServe, two older examples of social networks that eventually lost their grip. Erik Sherman, Fortune, "There's No Roadmap to Breaking Up Facebook—But Here's Where the Government Might Start," 7 June 2019 Peraza lost his grip on second base when Derek Dietrich emerged as one of the club’s most consistent hitters. Bobby Nightengale,, "José Peraza's big night lifts the Cincinnati Reds to a win over St. Louis Cardinals," 5 June 2019

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


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for grip

Verb and Noun

Middle English grippen, from Old English grippan; akin to Old English grīpan

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Statistics for grip

Last Updated

7 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for grip

The first known use of grip was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for grip



English Language Learners Definition of grip

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to grab or hold (something) tightly
: to get and hold the interest or attention of (someone)



English Language Learners Definition of grip (Entry 2 of 2)

: the act of grabbing or holding something
: a way or style of holding something
: power or control


\ ˈgrip How to pronounce grip (audio) \
gripped; gripping

Kids Definition of grip

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to grab or hold tightly
2 : to hold the interest of The story grips the reader.



Kids Definition of grip (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a strong grasp
2 : strength in holding : power the grip of winter
3 : understanding entry 1 sense 1 I finally have a grip on division.
4 : self-control Calm down and get a grip.

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More from Merriam-Webster on grip

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with grip

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for grip

Spanish Central: Translation of grip

Nglish: Translation of grip for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of grip for Arabic Speakers

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