\ 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
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

Synonyms for grip

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of grip in a Sentence

Verb 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. Noun 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 Shortly after Major League Soccer shut down its regular season as the coronavirus pandemic started to grip the United States, FC Cincinnati President Jeff Berding requested a list of the club's employees that lived alone. Pat Brennan, The Enquirer, "Here's the unique path FC Cincinnati had to take to the MLS Is Back Tournament," 11 July 2020 The formal notification came even as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to grip the globe and infections spike in many states across the U.S. Deirdre Shesgreen, USA TODAY, "Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander: Trump's WHO withdrawal could interfere with vaccine development," 8 July 2020 Designed for indoor or outdoor use, this toddler-friendly design features a crawl-through tunnel and a slide with chunky sides for little ones to grip onto. Melissa Lee, USA TODAY, "This huge Wayfair 4th of July sale will save you tons on furniture, appliances and more," 25 June 2020 Focus on new hobbies or pastimes that grip your interest and follow through on uplifting inspirations in early September. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, "Horoscope for June 17, 2020: Happy birthday Will Forte; Sagittarius, don’t spill your secrets," 17 June 2020 Since the 19th century a few pianists have had the gift of reaching out beyond the regular ranks of classical-music lovers to touch and grip a wider public. The Economist, "Crossover stars Vikingur Olafsson is revitalising classical music," 16 June 2020 Equities are facing a bumpy ride this morning as second-wave jitters grip the markets. Bernhard Warner, Fortune, "Is a second wave inevitable? The stock markets seem to think so," 15 June 2020 On the other hand, because this is a Spike Lee enterprise, much of it does grip the gaze and summon up the blood. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, "Spike Lee Wraps History in Adventure in “Da 5 Bloods”," 12 June 2020 On the left side of the mouse is a wholly vertical area upon which your thumb can grip. Benjamin Levin, CNN Underscored, "The best ergonomic mouse of 2020," 10 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The novel coronavirus eased its grip on San Antonio as Metro Health reported 374 new cases and three deaths in its daily update Saturday. Diego Mendoza-moyers,, "Metro Health reports 374 more novel coronavirus cases in San Antonio; three more deaths," 1 Aug. 2020 The United States saw a devastating surge in coronavirus infections during July, with more than 1.9 million new cases in total reported — by far the most tallied in a single month and a grim sign that the country had lost its grip on the pandemic. Derek Hawkins, Washington Post, "Coronavirus update: July marked the worst month on record for new infections," 1 Aug. 2020 Now, President Trump is losing his grip as cases surge all across the country, not just in blue states. Elly Belle,, "Trump Scrapped Jared Kushner’s COVID Plan Because It Would Help Blue States," 31 July 2020 Merchants and brands that met with soaring e-commerce demand during lockdowns expect consumers to stick to online shopping as the coronavirus pandemic continues its grip on the U.S. Jennifer Smith, WSJ, "The Rush Is On to Secure Holiday-Season Warehouse Space," 30 July 2020 Ultimately, this tweet should be read as the last gasp of a president coming closer and closer to losing his already tenuous grip on the nation. Emma Specter, Vogue, "Did Trump Really Just Threaten to Delay the 2020 Election?," 30 July 2020 Twelve pro-democracy activists were barred from standing in September’s elections, the latest sign that Beijing is increasing its grip on the former British colony. Rob Crilly, Washington Examiner, "Poll shows rising voter anger toward China as Trump and Biden try to seize the issue," 30 July 2020 But Beijing has been tightening its grip on those rights and freedoms for several years, and many fear the national security law is another big step in that direction. Rishi Iyengar, CNN, "Hong Kong was a 'safe harbor' for tech companies shut out of China. Not anymore," 9 July 2020 And as digitization tightens its grip on the world, new technologies are popping up left and right to make paying for goods and services easier and more frictionless. Mckenna Moore, Fortune, "Why America won’t be going cashless anytime soon," 25 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for grip

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for grip

Last Updated

25 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Grip.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for grip


How to pronounce grip (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for grip

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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