\ 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 Iraq has been gripped by protests in the capital Baghdad and across most of its southern provinces. Washington Post, "Iraq’s main port reopens after 5-day shutdown by protesters," 7 Nov. 2019 The territory has been gripped by increasingly violent protests for months as anti-government activists demand political reform and the protection of historic democratic rights. Linda Givetash, NBC News, "Pro-China lawmaker stabbed in Hong Kong amid anti-government tensions," 6 Nov. 2019 Hong Kong has been gripped by more than four months of increasingly violent pro-democracy demonstrations, with rising anti-China sentiment among the protesters. Jessie Yeung, CNN, "Shaquille O'Neal weighs in on NBA-China spat, says 'Daryl Morey was right'," 23 Oct. 2019 The world was gripped by João Félix-mania last season as the teenage forward was one of Liga NOS' finest performers with Benfica., "Ranking All 10 of the Kopa Trophy Nominees 2019," 22 Oct. 2019 Wilson is still gripped by stage fright before every concert and calms down only when the music commences. Herbert W. Strupp, National Review, "Something Great from ’68: Brian Wilson and the Zombies in Concert," 5 Oct. 2019 Europe at that time was gripped by political questions concerning the place of women in society, free love, the expansion of the franchise, and the importance of scientific inquiry in civic life. Andrew Katzenstein, Harper's magazine, "The Radical Conservative," 16 Sep. 2019 Starting in the mid-1400s, Europe was gripped by an anti-witch hysteria, leading to the executions of some 80,000 people between 1500 and 1660. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Wanted: The Missing Bones of a Scottish ‘Witch’," 3 Sep. 2019 But those times were not really simple: Americans were then gripped by Cold War fears and the Red Scare, and buffeted by new economic pressures. Sara K. Eskridge, Houston Chronicle, "Why Americans love Mayberry," 19 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Aramco could tighten its grip on supply to boost prices — but not without stoking division among the cartel and allied producers. Julia Horowitz, CNN, "Investors are dumping oil. So why would anyone buy Saudi Aramco?," 6 Nov. 2019 Sunday, hours after the Tide kept a firm grip on the top spot in the coaches poll. Mike Rodak |, al, "LSU remains No. 1 in AP poll over Alabama," 3 Nov. 2019 Turkish officials have kept a strong grip on the communities along the border, attending funerals while laying the blame for the casualties on the United States for supporting what Ankara calls a terrorist organization. New York Times, "Turkey’s Border Towns Pay Deadly Price for Erdogan’s Syria Incursion," 21 Oct. 2019 When problems arise, Amazon denies responsibility, saying it can’t be held to account for the actions of independent contractors, though the company keeps a tight grip on how the drivers do their jobs. Patricia Callahan, ProPublica, "Senators Frustrated by Amazon’s “Evasive” Response to Questions on Driver Safety," 4 Oct. 2019 Trump urged Tehran to follow the example set by North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, even though the autocrat continues to hold a tight grip on his nuclear weapons. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Trump attacks globalism and urges action on Iran at UN," 24 Sep. 2019 Vietnam’s single-party Communist government maintains a tight grip on power, often highlighted by crackdowns on online dissent. NBC News, "Tech startups in Vietnam emerge as beneficiaries of U.S.-China trade war," 23 Sep. 2019 Keep a tight grip on your money because there may be many temptations. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, "Horoscope for Aug. 30, 2019: Cancer, consider a reboot; Capricorn, kindness is never out of fashion," 30 Aug. 2019 One of the most successful television producers of the '90s and early '00s, Kelley has long been known to maintain a tight grip on his shows. Meredith Blake,, "Andrea Arnold reportedly losing control over ‘Big Little Lies’ isn’t just about gender," 15 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

13 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for grip

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

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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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