Synonyms & Antonyms of grab

(Entry 1 of 2)

to take physical control or possession of (something) suddenly or forcibly
  • don't grab my arm like that

Synonyms for grab

Words Related to grab

Phrases Synonymous with grab

Near Antonyms for grab

Antonyms for grab



Synonyms of grab (Entry 2 of 2)

an instance of theft
  • a political activist who thinks the government's lease of public lands to logging companies amounts to an illegal land grab

Synonyms for grab

Words Related to grab

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Frequently Asked Questions About grab

How is the word grab different from other verbs like it?

Some common synonyms of grab are clutch, grasp, seize, snatch, and take. While all these words mean "to get hold of by or as if by catching up with the hand," grab implies more roughness or rudeness than snatch.

grabbed roughly by the arm

When can clutch be used instead of grab?

Although the words clutch and grab have much in common, clutch suggests avidity or anxiety in seizing or grasping and may imply less success in holding.

clutching her purse

In what contexts can grasp take the place of grab?

In some situations, the words grasp and grab are roughly equivalent. However, grasp stresses a laying hold so as to have firmly in possession.

grasp the handle and pull

Where would seize be a reasonable alternative to grab?

The words seize and grab can be used in similar contexts, but seize implies a sudden and forcible movement in getting hold of something tangible or an apprehending of something fleeting or elusive when intangible.

seized the suspect

How do snatch and seize relate to one another, in the sense of grab?

Snatch suggests more suddenness or quickness but less force than seize.

snatched a doughnut and ran

When could take be used to replace grab?

The words take and grab are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, take is a general term applicable to any manner of getting something into one's possession or control.

take some salad from the bowl

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Time Traveler for grab

Time Traveler

The first known use of grab was circa 1581

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Thesaurus Entries Near grab



grab bag

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Cite this Entry

“Grab.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Jan. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on grab

Nglish: Translation of grab for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of grab for Arabic Speakers


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