\ 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

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

Brooke Skylar Richardson, now 20, was on trial for allegedly killing and burying her newborn baby For the past eight days, jurors heard gripping testimony in the trial of Brooke Skylar Richardson. Steve Helling,, "Cremation, Eating Disorders, and Inappropriate Texts: Bombshells in the Brooke Skylar Richardson Trial," 12 Sep. 2019 The other day, a pregnant woman stepped awkwardly onto the 147 CTA bus holding a shopping bag in one hand and gripping the wrist of a toddler with the other. Dahleen Glanton,, "Column: When a man offers a woman his seat on the train or bus, is it an act of kindness or sexism?," 9 Sep. 2019 Democratic parents griping about the eventual nominee and who don’t help get out the vote—or who fail to vote at all—are making the same choice. Elliot Haspel, The New Republic, "Millennial Parents Are Failing Their Children," 30 Aug. 2019 One more point from Stelter: Trump has been griping about Fox's newscasts all year long. Oliver Darcy, CNN, "Trump turns up the volume with days of anti-media attacks," 29 Aug. 2019 Albertsen expects that improvements in gripping abilities soon will allow robots to pull tender plants from their containers. Thomas Black,, "New, more agile robots speed the takeover of jobs once done only by humans," 13 July 2019 Of course, such an outcome that would surely yield a new round of grousing and griping, but various factors, including nostalgia, appear to augur in the show's favor. Brian Lowry, CNN, "'Game of Thrones' looks poised to torch more Emmy records," 17 Sep. 2019 Gut-wrenching show Curated by Executive Director Christina Vassallo, with Project Coordinator Megan Young and R&D Program Coordinator Karl Anderson, the Spaces show is gripping, thought-provoking and at times gut-wrenching. Steven Litt,, "Gun rights explored in provocative ‘Well Armed Militias’ exhibit at Spaces," 15 Sep. 2019 But that story, while gripping, provides only a piece of the action. Joan Frank, Washington Post, "In Lara Prescott’s ‘The Secrets We Kept,’ the CIA takes a novel approach to Cold War spycraft," 13 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In the absence of Saddam’s tight police grip, religious and tribal groups vied for control of the oil-rich province. New York Times, "Iraq Faces a New Adversary: Crystal Meth," 14 Sep. 2019 Junior grapples with the top of his opponent’s mawashi before getting a grip on it. Jill Langlois, Los Angeles Times, "In Brazil, land of beaches and samba, a sumo wrestling academy thrives," 10 Sep. 2019 Tom Leal, at the grip, and conductor Antonio Marquardt tried out the brakes on a hill. Carl Nolte,, "World’s oldest operating cable car rolling back to life this weekend," 7 Sep. 2019 Howe may be slightly worried by how lifeless his side looked in the second half as Leicester got a grip on proceedings., "Leicester 3-1 Bournemouth: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Foxes Ease to Impressive Win," 31 Aug. 2019 But the company allows for listings of scopes — including night vision optics — and laser sights, as well as rail mounts designed to accommodate grips, flashlights and other tactical devices. Brian Fung, CNN, "Google and Amazon say they have removed gun-related shopping results that shouldn't have been there at all," 6 Aug. 2019 By comparing the chemistry of rocks in a range of regions, scientists might get a better grip on their magmatic origins. National Geographic, "A tectonic plate is dying under Oregon. Here’s why that matters.," 29 July 2019 Investigators said Anderson, wearing a blue nightgown, got a two-handed grip on the silver .22 caliber pistol during the struggle. Cameron Knight,, "Police: Man shot last year by girlfriend has stabbed her in the chest," 25 July 2019 Eventually, people got a grip on what had happened: Onboard computers were overloaded. Robert Hackett, Fortune, "“Alarms Went off in the Spacecraft.” How IBM Computer Whizzes Saved Apollo 11," 20 July 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

16 Oct 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

Comments on grip

What made you want to look up grip? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to fake an opponent out of position

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