verb (used with object), grabbed, grabbing.
to seize suddenly or quickly; snatch; clutch:
He grabbed me by the collar.
to take illegal possession of; seize forcibly or unscrupulously:
to grab land.
to obtain and consume quickly:
Let’s grab a sandwich before going to the movie.
verb (used without object), grabbed, grabbing.
to make a grasping or clutching motion (usually followed by at):
He grabbed frantically at the life preserver.
(of brakes, a clutch, etc.) to take hold suddenly or with a jolting motion; bind.
a sudden, quick grasp or snatch:
to make a grab at something.
seizure or acquisition by violent or unscrupulous means.
something that is grabbed.
a mechanical device for gripping objects.
the capacity to hold or adhere:
The glue was so old it had lost its grab.
up for grabs, Informal. available to anyone willing to expend the energy to get it:
The Republican nomination for mayor was up for grabs.
an Oriental ship having two or three masts with a square rig.
verb grabs, grabbing, grabbed
to seize hold of (something)
(transitive) to seize illegally or unscrupulously
(transitive) to arrest; catch
(intransitive) (of a brake or clutch in a vehicle) to grip and release intermittently causing juddering
(transitive) (informal) to catch the attention or interest of; impress
the act or an instance of grabbing
a mechanical device for gripping objects, esp the hinged jaws of a mechanical excavator
something that is grabbed
(informal) up for grabs, available to be bought, claimed, or won
1580s, from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German grabben “to grab,” from Proto-Germanic *grab (cf. Old English græppian “to seize,” Old Saxon garva, Old High German garba “sheaf,” literally “that which is gathered up together”), from PIE *ghrebh- “to seize, reach” (cf. Sanskrit grbhnati “seizes,” Old Persian grab- “seize” as possession or prisoner, Old Church Slavonic grabiti “to seize, rob,” Lithuanian grebiu “to rake”). Sense of “to get by unscrupulous methods” reinforced by grab game, a kind of swindle, attested from 1846. Related: Grabbed; grabbing.
1777, “thing grabbed;” 1824, “act of grabbing,” from grab (v.). Up for grabs attested from 1945 in jive talk.
An arrest; bust, pinch: We will get credit for the grab, and we will also profit/ The only thing worse than no grab is a bad grab (1753+ Police)
To seize the admiration or attention of; impress: How does that grab you?/ to reflect on a whole lot of things that had been grabbing me (1966+)
In addition to the idiom beginning with
- Grab a handful of air
verb phrase To apply the brakes of a truck or bus quickly [1930s+ Truckers; fr the fact that such vehicles have hand-operated air brakes]
noun horseplay that is sexual in nature Examples We don’t want to hear about the politicians playing grab-ass with the interns. Word Origin by 1948 Usage Note slang noun Sexual touching and clutching: less anxious, less suspicious about my merry games of grabarse (1940s+) Related Terms play grab-ass
[grab] /græb/ verb (used with object), grabbed, grabbing. 1. to seize suddenly or quickly; snatch; clutch: He grabbed me by the collar. 2. to take illegal possession of; seize forcibly or unscrupulously: to grab land. 3. to obtain and consume quickly: Let’s grab a sandwich before going to the movie. 4. Slang. verb (used without […]
noun 1. a container or receptacle from which a person at a party or the like draws a gift without knowing what it is. 2. any miscellaneous collection. noun 1. a collection of miscellaneous things 2. (US & Canadian, Austral) a bag or other container from which gifts are drawn at random n. “miscellaneous mixture,” […]