\ 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


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

The win secured #92 ranked Anisimova’s spot in the third round of competition (singles players must win 7 rounds to nab the overall tournament title). Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "Here’s What You Need to Know About the 2019 Australian Open, Including How to Watch," 16 Jan. 2019 And even going from Kansas City to San Diego—to nab the great New York City fare—was going to cost him $380. Barbara Peterson, Condé Nast Traveler, "JetBlue Founder David Neeleman on How New Airline Moxy Will Change the Way We Fly," 12 Dec. 2018 Today marks the first day of Sephora's yearly winter VIB sale, and this time the opportunity to nab steep discounts is bigger than ever. Rachel Nussbaum, Glamour, "What to Shop From Sephora's Beauty Insider Holiday Sale 2018," 26 Oct. 2018 Gaga is the latest music queen to nab her own Vegas residency, following stars like Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, Britney Spears, and Cher. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Lady Gaga's Las Vegas Residency Starts So Much Sooner Than You Think," 7 Aug. 2018 Luckily, on June 26th MOTHER is restocking the impossible-to-nab style! Kami Phillips,, "These Sold-Out Meghan Markle-Approved Jeans Are Back In Stock - Hurry and Snag Your Pair Now!," 26 June 2018 Though the Seattle defense has been both banged up and erratic through the first two games, its secondary has nabbed five interceptions, which is tied for the most in the NFL. Mike Vorel, The Seattle Times, "Three impressions from the Seahawks’ loss to the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football," 17 Sep. 2018 Action in the 15 to 18-year-old 200-yard IM had Eleazar Galvan and Matthew Konvicka easily nabbing first and second place with times of 2:15.19 and 2:15.47. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "Seal swimmers post strong times in CCSL opener," 4 June 2018 The teen nabbed the former University of Central Florida star’s wallet before trying to drive off in the truck, but was foiled because the pickup was boxed in by other cars, the report said. The Web Staff,, "Jacksonville teen tried to steal former UCF QB Blake Bortles' truck: report," 10 May 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

14 Feb 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 \
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).


to express emotion in a dramatic way

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