- 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.
- to cause a reaction in; affect: How does my idea grab you?
- to arouse the interest or excitement of: The book was O.K., but it just didn't grab me.
- 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.
Origin of grab1
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for grabbed
In an act of corporal punishment that we at the Daily Beast do not condone, Joseph grabbed Him by the ear and “pulled hard.”Was Baby Jesus A Holy Terror?
December 21, 2014
The victim, whom The Daily Beast is not naming, asked what Williams wanted and the pastor allegedly “reached in and grabbed him.”Exposed: The Gay-Bashing Pastor’s Same-Sex Assault
December 21, 2014
I was bored, but I grabbed a red Solo cup, filled it with beer, and stayed with my group, chatting with the brothers about Jim.I Was Gang Raped at a UVA Frat 30 Years Ago, and No One Did Anything
December 16, 2014
He was slapped, grabbed in the face, placed in stress positions, placed in standing sleep deprivation, and doused with water.Inside the CIA’s Sadistic Dungeon
December 9, 2014
Then they went to the corner opposite where I was and grabbed about four or five individuals and arrested them as well.Dispatch From USC Protests over Ferguson
Maya Richard Craven
November 30, 2014
Will grabbed my arm, without saying anything, and pulled me into the bar.The Fortune Hunter
Louis Joseph Vance
When I tuck him up, he grabbed me round the neck and dug his little face into mine.
With that he grabbed up the deed an' stuffed it into his pocket.
Six navvies, three to the man, jumped and grabbed the combatants.The Cruise of the Dry Dock
T. S. Stribling
Jim was only sixteen then, but he grabbed the chance to get into the building.The Harbor
- to seize hold of (something)
- (tr) to seize illegally or unscrupulously
- (tr) to arrest; catch
- (intr) (of a brake or clutch in a vehicle) to grip and release intermittently causing juddering
- (tr) 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
- up for grabs informal available to be bought, claimed, or won
Word Origin and History for grabbed
1777, "thing grabbed;" 1824, "act of grabbing," from grab (v.). Up for grabs attested from 1945 in jive talk.
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.