\ˈnab \
nabbed; nabbing

Definition of nab 

transitive verb

1 : to catch or seize in arrest : apprehend

2 : to seize suddenly

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Synonyms & Antonyms for nab


bag, capture, catch, collar, cop [slang], corral, get, glom, grab, grapple, hook, land, nail, net, rap, seize, snag, snap (up), snare, snatch, trap



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Examples of nab in a Sentence

We nabbed seats in the front row of the theater. the officer nabbed the purse snatcher before he could escape

Recent Examples on the Web

Last year's rookie of the year Ed Jones is one of just seven drivers to nab multiple podiums this year. Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Star, "IndyCar midseason review, Part I: What’s gone right," 14 June 2018 After his first pit stop, he was nabbed for speeding on pit road. Mike Hembree, USA TODAY, "Kyle Busch outduels Kyle Larson at Chicagoland Speedway, earns fifth win of 2018," 1 July 2018 MJ Rodriguez MJ began her career on stage as a theater actor, having played the role of Angel in an Off-Broadway production of Rent, a performance which nabbed her the Clive Barnes Award. Allie Fasanella, Teen Vogue, ""Pose" Is Making Television History With These 5 Transgender Actors," 10 June 2018 After decades as a scam artist, Mr. Weinberg was nabbed by the federal authorities in 1977. Robert D. Mcfadden, New York Times, "Mel Weinberg, 93, the F.B.I.’s Lure in the Abscam Sting, Dies," 6 June 2018 After months of reportedly avoiding arrest, a Plum Grove man wanted for a home burglary and revocation of probation for previous burglaries was nabbed March 15 by the Pct. Staff Report, Houston Chronicle, "Plum Grove man charged with multiple burglaries," 19 Mar. 2018 Dylan Larkin was nabbed for tripping at 12:58 of the second period, sending the Wings on another penalty kill. Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press, "Justin Abdelkader, Red Wings win shootout vs. San Jose Sharks, 2-1," 31 Jan. 2018 As it's done so, Netflix has been able to cast a huge net, pulling in viewers with big, expensive shows like The Crown, which earned 13 nominations today, and cult-y surprise hits like Stranger Things, which nabbed 12. Angela Watercutter, WIRED, "With 112 Emmy Nominations, Netflix Officially Rules Television," 12 July 2018 Submarine weapons are key for China’s military ambitions, but Chinese cyber-incursions in recent years have nabbed designs and data for everything from advanced fighter jets to missile systems. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "Chinese Hackers Steal Sensitive Data on U.S. Subs and Missiles from Military Contractor, Report Says," 10 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nab.' 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 nab

1686, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for nab

perhaps alteration of English dialect nap

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Statistics for nab

Last Updated

7 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for nab

The first known use of nab was in 1686

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More Definitions for nab



English Language Learners Definition of nab

: to catch and stop or arrest (someone)

: to take or get (something) quickly and often in a way that is clever or rude


\ˈnab \
nabbed; nabbing

Kids Definition of nab

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Comments on nab

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


playful or foolish behavior

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