Synonyms & Antonyms of grasping

(Entry 1 of 2)


present participle of grasp

Synonyms & Antonyms of grasping (Entry 2 of 2)

1 to have a practical understanding of
  • he just doesn't grasp how important it is that he call when he'll be late

Synonyms for grasping

Words Related to grasping

Near Antonyms for grasping

2 to put one's arms around and press tightly
  • the departing soldier grasped his children a little closer than usual

Synonyms for grasping

Words Related to grasping

3 to reach for and take hold of by embracing with the fingers or arms
  • the attendant grasped my arm and steered me towards the door

Synonyms for grasping

Words Related to grasping

Phrases Synonymous with grasping

Near Antonyms for grasping

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Frequently Asked Questions About grasping

How does the adjective grasping differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of grasping are acquisitive, avaricious, covetous, and greedy. While all these words mean "having or showing a strong desire for especially material possessions," grasping adds to covetous and greedy an implication of selfishness and often suggests unfair or ruthless means.

a hard grasping businesswoman who cheated her associates

When is it sensible to use acquisitive instead of grasping?

The synonyms acquisitive and grasping are sometimes interchangeable, but acquisitive implies both eagerness to possess and ability to acquire and keep.

an eagerly acquisitive mind

When could avaricious be used to replace grasping?

In some situations, the words avaricious and grasping are roughly equivalent. However, avaricious implies obsessive acquisitiveness especially of money and strongly suggests stinginess.

an avaricious miser

When might covetous be a better fit than grasping?

The words covetous and grasping are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, covetous implies inordinate desire often for another's possessions.

covetous of his brother's country estate

Where would greedy be a reasonable alternative to grasping?

The meanings of greedy and grasping largely overlap; however, greedy stresses lack of restraint and often of discrimination in desire.

greedy for status symbols

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Time Traveler for grasping

Time Traveler

The first known use of grasping was in 1577

See more words from the same year

Cite this Entry

“Grasping.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 May. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on grasping

Dictionary: Definition of grasping

Nglish: Translation of grasping for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of grasping for Arabic Speakers

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