Thesaurus

grab

verb

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

grab

noun

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

See the Dictionary Definition 

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about grab

Time Traveler for grab

Time Traveler

The first known use of grab was circa 1581

See more words from the same year

Cite this Entry

“Grab.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/grab. Accessed 14 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on grab

Dictionary: Definition of grab

Nglish: Translation of grab for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of grab for Arabic Speakers

Comments on grab

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Words Used by Nabokov Quiz

  • image1676440788
  • Choose the best definition or synonym for the word in bold: "There are some eructations that sound like cheers—at least, mine did." Lolita
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!