\ ˈgrab How to pronounce grab (audio) \
grabbed; grabbing

Definition of grab

 (Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to take or seize by or as if by a sudden motion or grasp grab up an ax grabbed the opportunity grab attention
2 : to take hastily grab a bite to eat grab a cab
3a : to seize the attention of the technique of grabbing an audience— Pauline Kael
b : to impress favorably and deeply
4 : to obtain without consideration of what is right or wrong grab public lands

intransitive verb

: to make a sudden snatch



Definition of grab (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : a sudden snatch
b : an unlawful or unethical seizure a grab for power
c : something taken, seized, or grasped suddenly
2 chiefly British
a : a device for clutching an object
up for grabs
: available for anyone to take, win, or settle A lot of voters are still up for grabs.



Definition of grab (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : intended to be taken, seized, or grasped suddenly a grab rail
2 : taken at random grab samples of rocks

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Other Words from grab


grabber noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for grab

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Verb

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Choose the Right Synonym for grab


take, seize, grasp, clutch, snatch, grab mean to get hold of by or as if by catching up with the hand. take is a general term applicable to any manner of getting something into one's possession or control. take some salad from the bowl 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 grasp stresses a laying hold so as to have firmly in possession. grasp the handle and pull clutch suggests avidity or anxiety in seizing or grasping and may imply less success in holding. clutching her purse snatch suggests more suddenness or quickness but less force than seize. snatched a doughnut and ran grab implies more roughness or rudeness than snatch. grabbed roughly by the arm

Examples of grab in a Sentence

Verb I have to go back in the house and grab my car keys. The little boy grabbed onto his mother's leg and wouldn't let go. I'll grab a taxi and meet you there. Let's grab a bite to eat before the movie starts. The store had a lot of nice stuff, but nothing really grabbed me. The play grabs the audience from the opening scene. One player in particular has been grabbing a lot of attention lately. Noun a political activist who thinks the government's lease of public lands to logging companies amounts to an illegal land grab
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb There’s no better way to cool off on a hot Texas day than to grab an inner tube and float down the Frio River. Diana Spechler, Chron, 14 Oct. 2021 Marrow was eventually able to grab her son and proceeded to lift them both out of the manhole to safety. Joelle Goldstein,, 12 Oct. 2021 Another tactic is to accept that the traditional banking revenue pie may be shrinking but aim to grab a bigger slice through M&A and drive shareholder returns that way. Alan Mcintyre, Forbes, 11 Oct. 2021 Every year, Annette makes a shortlist of easy-to-find or -make materials, then tucks the results into the greenery, scatters them on the table, and piles them in bowls for Ava to grab and examine. Joanna Linberg, Better Homes & Gardens, 11 Oct. 2021 Alongside the artists’ murals, Artpace had designated spaces where community members could grab a piece of chalk and contribute their own work. Megan Rodriguez, San Antonio Express-News, 9 Oct. 2021 The meteor shower will be sporadic, so grab a lawn chair and plan on sitting outside for a while. Sherry Liang, CNN, 8 Oct. 2021 Just like the coronavirus, HIV looks a bit like a spikey ball, and these spikes allow the virus to grab onto your cells and slip inside them. San Diego Union-Tribune, 7 Oct. 2021 So grab some popcorn, strap in, and enjoy the ride alongside one of the most elite supersoldiers in the world: here’s how to stream Black Widow. Sage Anderson, Rolling Stone, 6 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Newsom campaign’s response was to frame the election as a right-wing power grab, using former President Trump as a bogeyman. Los Angeles Times, 15 Sep. 2021 But the project faces fierce opposition from some residents of the region who frame it as a water grab to meet the demands of Southern California or agriculture. Dustin Gardiner, San Francisco Chronicle, 31 Aug. 2021 Republicans denounced the bill as a partisan power grab and a federal overreach into state voting and election systems. Alaa Elassar, CNN, 28 Aug. 2021 But some people will undoubtedly see the new line-skipping options as a money grab. New York Times, 18 Aug. 2021 Ghannouchi, who belongs to the moderate Islamist Ennahda party, is among those describing the president’s move as a power grab. Washington Post, 26 July 2021 Republicans view it as a power grab that would limit free speech, federalize elections, and gut commonsense laws meant to avert fraud and bolster confidence in election integrity. Todd J. Gillman, Dallas News, 17 July 2021 Republicans have also branded the bill as a partisan power grab because making the deep-blue city a state would give Democrats two more Senate seats., 26 June 2021 McConnell and other Republican senators have decried it as a power grab. Morgan Watkins, The Courier-Journal, 10 June 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'grab.' 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 grab


circa 1581, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


1777, in the meaning defined at sense 1c


1608, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for grab

Verb, Noun, and Adjective

obsolete Dutch or Low German grabben

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Dictionary Entries Near grab

graafian follicle



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Statistics for grab

Last Updated

16 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Grab.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for grab



English Language Learners Definition of grab

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to quickly take and hold (someone or something) with your hand or arms
: to take or get (something) in a quick and informal way
: to get the attention or interest of (someone or something)



English Language Learners Definition of grab (Entry 2 of 2)

: a quick attempt to take or get something
: the act of taking something in a forceful or illegal way


\ ˈgrab How to pronounce grab (audio) \
grabbed; grabbing

Kids Definition of grab

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to grasp or seize suddenly



Kids Definition of grab (Entry 2 of 2)

: a sudden attempt to grasp or seize

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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