\ 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

Shaggy Briton woodsmen in the vast pre-Roman forests of Cumbria, gripping their sacred Langdale axes, with glimmering heads knapped from the rare volcanic greenstone mined from the Pike of Stickle. Jonny Diamond, Longreads, "Lumbersexuality, a Sport and a Pastime," 8 June 2019 Memon, who died last year, was an Urdu professor at the University of Madison-Wisconsin, and his translation is gripping and uncomfortable, which is likely how Chughtai wanted her story to be read. Saira Khan, The New Yorker, "“The Greatest Urdu Stories Ever Told” Is a Belated Introduction to a Thrilling Canon," 7 June 2019 The opioid crisis has gripped communities across the U.S. Exactly two years before the students’ arrests, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signed an emergency declaration to address a growing number of fatal overdoses. Washington Post, "Police: 3 students had thousands of fentanyl pills on campus," 6 June 2019 The music has remained gripping since its premiere in 1787. Domenica Bongiovanni, Indianapolis Star, "A womanizing scoundrel and a love potion are characters in Indianapolis Opera's new season," 6 June 2019 Like the president, Bonilla vowed to tackle corruption and security in Tijuana where drug violence is gripping the city. David Maung/san Diego Union-tribune, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Mexico’s president extends power in Baja California elections," 3 June 2019 The Handmaid’s Tale (Season 3), Hulu, June 5 The third season of the show, based on Margaret Atwood’s novel, will continue June (Elisabeth Moss)’s gripping journey. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "What to Stream in June on Netflix, Hulu, HBO, and More," 31 May 2019 Keep core tight to balance on sits bone—do not grip your shins or hug your knees in order to achieve balance. SELF, "5-Move Cardio and EMOM," 28 Apr. 2019 During those three months, the Shanghai Composite Index slumped 18 percent as turmoil gripped Chinese markets., "Goldman Agrees to $22 Million Settlement With China Watchdog," 24 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

There have been other signs of Beijing’s tightening grip on the semiautonomous enclave. Time, "Massive Protest Held in Hong Kong Against Proposal to Ease Extradition to China," 9 June 2019 Another tidbit in Johnson’s account is that Miller has relinquished his theoretical power over other domestic policy matters in exchange for a firm grip on immigration. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump’s Immigration Chaos: Incompetence or Deliberate Trolling?," 27 June 2018 Luckily for her, the prince had a good grip of his wife's hand and quickly helped her steady herself and avoid a potential disaster., "Meghan Markle’s First Wedding As A Royal Had A Little Stumble," 17 June 2018 The direct-to-consumer company designs carry-ons and checked bags that prioritize functionality over trends: sturdy handles molded to your grip, a scratch-proof finish, and durable zippers. Lale Arikoglu, Condé Nast Traveler, "Why Everyone Wants an Away Suitcase," 26 Nov. 2018 His gentle grip on his daughter's shoulder is a symbol of comfort and reassurance. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "Body Language Experts Analyze Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson's Relationship With Their Kids," 28 Aug. 2018 The video shows Kimmel who bravely picked up the alligator and unraveled it from the snake's tight grip. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "Video shows man saving alligator as python nearly squeezes it to death," 19 June 2018 Democrats broke that grip in 2008, when Fred Clark rode a Democratic wave into office, but Republicans retook it in 2012 after redrawn district boundaries put Mr. Clark in a different district. Todd Richmond, The Christian Science Monitor, "Wisconsin special elections could build red or blue momentum," 11 June 2018 The 96-year-old retired high school teacher from Coronado is in France, participating in ceremonies marking the anniversary of the massive Allied invasion that freed the country from the grip of Nazi Germany during World War II. John Wilkens,, "D-Day paratrooper from Coronado will jump again in France — at age 96," 6 June 2018

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

12 Jun 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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