\ ˈnab How to pronounce nab (audio) \
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


apprehend, arrest, bust [slang], collar, nail, nick [British slang], pick up, pinch, pull in, restrain, run in, seize



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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

Bell--also known as Tone or Ghost-- was nabbed at the motel on Wednesday with about $12,000 in cash and cocaine, the Detroit Free Press reported. Fox News, "ICE's most wanted alleged human-trafficker nabbed in Michigan," 1 Aug. 2019 Or that his teammate Joahnys Argilagos, who’d tried fleeing the team in Mexico four months earlier, was nabbed at the U.S. border before being detained in Colorado for months. Greg Bishop,, "Immigrant Song," 30 July 2019 In a statement, police identified the suspect as Lalance Smith, who was nabbed Monday morning in Waltham on charges of murder, armed robbery, and unlawful possession of a firearm in the shooting death of Woodrum. Travis Andersen,, "Boston police arrest suspect in slaying of Dorchester man," 25 June 2019 The woman was reportedly attempting to steal more goods when she was nabbed., "Angry, drunk ex-girlfriend gets into man’s home through open window: Lyndhurst police blotter," 18 June 2019 Now, she's nabbed one more, with Lancôme this time around. Karina Hoshikawa,, "Chiara Ferragni Teamed Up With Lancôme — & You're Going To Want Everything," 15 June 2019 Prosecutors say he was nabbed in a sting in which the undercover officer sold him a pair of semiautomatic pistols with obliterated serial numbers. Washington Post, "The Latest: No bail for man accused of Times Square plot," 7 June 2019 Tauchman one-hopped a 91 mph throw to catcher Gary Sanchez to nab him at the plate. Jake Seiner,, "Encarnacion, ex-Rockies help Yankees beat Colorado 8-2," 20 July 2019 In the 37th minute, Diego Valeri crossed a ball into the box that Blanco got a head to, but his effort went off the underside off the crossbar and off the back of goalkeeper Greg Ranjitsingh, who turned around and nabbed the ball. Caitlin Murray | For The Oregonian/oregonlive,, "Late goal helps Portland Timbers salvage a point in 1-1 draw with Orlando City SC," 18 July 2019

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

15 Aug 2019

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 How to pronounce nab (audio) \
nabbed; nabbing

Kids Definition of nab

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More from Merriam-Webster on nab

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with nab

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for nab

Spanish Central: Translation of nab

Nglish: Translation of nab for Spanish Speakers

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).


a period when something is suspended

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