\ˈgrip \
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 on calculus

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)

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from grip


gripper noun
grippingly \ˈgri-​piŋ-​lē \ 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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Here’s what each meeting looks like: The Sniff: This is the initial meet and greet, grip and grin—like two dogs sniffing each other. Andy Kessler, WSJ, "Anything Good Takes Exactly Five Meetings," 18 Nov. 2018 And the character dynamics are instantly gripping and funny: Here are four young people trying to survive in a world that clearly wants to kill them. Julie Muncy, WIRED, "Extreme Meatpunks Forever," 11 July 2018 Always a great read, but one gripe - the junior girls final with two young Americans was a gripping and fun match that went to a third set tie breaker, multiple match points and comebacks. Jon Wertheim,, "Mailbag: Looking Back at Roland Garros," 13 June 2018 Leiva walked in front, holding a white flag, while Román and local human rights delegate Danilo Martínez gripped the police officer's arms and hurried him through the streets to the police station. Kyra Gurney, miamiherald, "Nicaragua's revolutionary town now a war zone defended by teenagers armed with rocks," 7 June 2018 So her godfather lifted it from the wall and handed it to the girl, who gripped and sighted along the gun like a pro. Molly Hennessy-fiske,, "She's a YouTube sensation and NRA darling: Meet 9-year-old sharpshooter 'Alpha Addy'," 6 May 2018 Start by lying faceup, holding a resistance band with each hand gripping one end. Leah Prinzivalli, SELF, "Celebrity Trainer Ben Bruno Just Invented a New Core Exercise You Should Try," 16 Nov. 2018 But the dramatic path the Browns have taken on their path to mediocrity has been nothing short of gripping. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "Cleveland Browns: Win, Lose or Draw—the NFL’s Most Entertaining Team," 26 Oct. 2018 Seemingly cut from the same cloth as the Kindle Oasis, the Kobo Forma has an 8-inch display with a large bezel on one edge for gripping. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Amazon’s Kindle Oasis has a new competitor: The waterproof Kobo Forma," 3 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Most of the time, these tires—kit with the track package ($2,995), along with rear wing and front carbon-fiber splitter—made driving the ZR1 like wrestling a giant bipolar eel: powerful, slippery, hard to get a grip. Dan Neil, WSJ, "2019 Corvette ZR1: The Last, and Best, of Its Kind," 28 Nov. 2018 Russia annexed the peninsula from Ukraine nearly five years ago and has since tightened its grip on it. Alex Ward, Vox, "Russia just openly attacked Ukraine. That could mean their war will get worse.," 26 Nov. 2018 There are many reasons some people can’t seem to get a grip on the towering piles of things in their life. Jura Koncius, The Seattle Times, "Marie Kondo on the four obstacles to decluttering," 8 Oct. 2018 For more than a decade, Hamas has maintained an iron grip on power and suppressed any signs of public dissent, including street protests and on social media. Mohammed Daraghmeh, The Seattle Times, "Human Rights Watch: Palestinians crush dissent with torture," 23 Oct. 2018 The lira is down nearly 32% so far this year on concerns that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s tightening grip on monetary policy is crimping efforts to tackle high inflation. Jessica Fleetham, WSJ, "Dollar Pushes Ahead as Investors Seek Safety," 9 Aug. 2018 The high-stakes presidential contest and a parliamentary election also held Sunday were set to either consolidate Erdogan’s grip on power or curtail his vast political ambitions. Suzan Fraser, Elene Becatoros, Time, "Partial Results Show Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Leading in Country's Elections," 24 June 2018 An officer produces a pair of scissors and cuts Jackson’s hair free of Alonso Luna’s grip in the video. Don Sweeney And Gabby Ferreira, sacbee, "She grabbed a cop's hair and wouldn't let go. Out came the scissors, video shows," 20 June 2018 Alessandra Cerreti set out to unsettle the Ndrangheta’s iron grip on much of southern Italy. Jackson Holahan, The Christian Science Monitor, "'The Good Mothers' profiles the female prosecutor who took on Italy's mafia," 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.

See More

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


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


see grip entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about grip

Statistics for grip

Last Updated

11 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for grip

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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 \
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.

Keep scrolling for more

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).


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!