\ 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 gripping true-crime anthology series is based on the real experiences of Gypsy Rose Blanchard (played by Joey King) and her mother Dee Dee Blanchard (played by Patricia Arquette). Alexis Jones, Marie Claire, "What Gypsy Rose Blanchard's Stepmom Says Hulu's "The Act" Got Wrong," 4 Apr. 2019 This gripping true-crime series centers on Dee Dee Blanchard, a woman who intentionally made her daughter, Gypsy Rose, sick for years. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "12 TV Shows and Movies to Watch That Will Drastically Improve Your Week," 17 Mar. 2019 Still on tenterhooks after the gripping final scene of Outlander's season premiere? Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Outlander Sneak Peek: Jamie's Aunt Jocasta Welcomes the Frasers to River Run," 7 Nov. 2018 The alloy steel blades are heat-treated to ensure bend resistance and toughness, and each tip is vapor-blasted with high-pressure water and an abrasive that produces a screw-gripping satin finish. Popular Mechanics, "55 Things to Do Before the World Ends," 19 Apr. 2018 While the kids moaned and griped about it, the job came with an incredibly enticing incentive: starvation. Stacey Gill, Good Housekeeping, "I Don't Need a Housekeeper — I Make My Kids Do the Cleaning," 21 Sep. 2015 The sound production of this film alone is worth experiencing, but its winding story of police instinct and emergency keeps viewers gripped as well. Sam Machkovech And Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "Films for the discerning nerd: Ars picks the best of 2018," 27 Dec. 2018 The handle should be gripped firmly, and the blade should be reasonably sharp, not worn and dull. Robin Tribble, Popular Mechanics, "The One Thing You Should Never Do with a Screwdriver," 30 Nov. 2018 That’s right, the National Weather Service in Seattle is predicting another cold system with snow similar to the one gripping the Puget Sound region right now. Christine Clarridge, The Seattle Times, "Snow, ice, school closures in Seattle area — and there’s more on the way," 5 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The Trump Administration has found European and Latin American support for its Venezuela policy but less backing on Cuba, whose government has already withstood a 60-year U.S. embargo without showing any signs of losing its grip on power. Michael Weissenstein, The Seattle Times, "Prince Charles, Camilla tour Old Havana on royal visit," 25 Mar. 2019 Some hoped to escape by sliding down cables in the elevator shaft, only to lose their grip. Marlena Scott, Teen Vogue, "Many Women Who Died in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire of 1911 Were Young Immigrants," 25 Mar. 2019 By the mid-15th century the economy was in the grip of hyperinflationary cycles. Amanda Foreman, WSJ, "The High Cost of Financial Panics," 10 Jan. 2019 One dog bought in the first grip of divorce guilt — a dog who is now 16 and will most likely live forever. Jen Mcguire, Good Housekeeping, "I Raised Four Sons as a Single Mom. Now That They're Grown, I'm Off to Europe.," 17 Dec. 2018 For the past several weeks, France has been in the grip of widespread protests and riots that have led to clashes with police, leaving several people dead, hundreds more injured, and thousands of dollars’ worth of property damaged. Jennifer Williams, Vox, "Embattled French President Macron announces concessions to quell weeks of violent protests," 11 Dec. 2018 Looks like Betty will have her hands full extricating her family — including those babies — from the grips of the farm this season. Jessica Macleish, Teen Vogue, "12 Things We Know About “Riverdale” Season 3 So Far," 28 Aug. 2018 Back in the early 1990s, after Romania escaped the grip of communism, this room was one of the few places offering an Internet connection free of charge. Andrada Fiscutean, Ars Technica, "The adventures of lab ED011—“Nobody would be able to duplicate what happened there”," 27 Aug. 2018 In the minutes before the building-sized vehicle attempts to break the grip of gravity, the crowd goes silent. Robin Seemangal, Popular Mechanics, "A Workhorse Rocket Maker Tries to Touch the Sun—And Stay Relevant," 16 Aug. 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

17 Apr 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).


an act or instance of returning to life

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