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nab

[nab]
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verb (used with object), nabbed, nab·bing. Informal.
  1. to arrest or capture.
  2. to catch or seize, especially suddenly.
  3. to snatch or steal.
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Origin of nab

1675–85; earlier nap; perhaps < Scandinavian; compare Danish nappe, Norwegian, Swedish nappa to snatch
Related formsnab·ber, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for nabber

nab

verb nabs, nabbing or nabbed (tr) informal
  1. to arrest
  2. to catch (someone) in wrongdoing
  3. to seize suddenly; snatch
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Word Origin

C17: perhaps of Scandinavian origin; compare Danish nappe, Swedish nappa to snatch. See kidnap
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for nabber

nab

v.

"to catch (someone)," 1680s, probably a variant of dialectal nap "to seize, catch, lay hold of" (1670s, now surviving only in kidnap), which possibly is from Scandinavian (cf. Norwegian nappe, Swedish nappa "to catch, snatch;" Danish nappe "to pinch, pull"); reinforced by Middle English napand "grasping, greedy." Related: Nabbed; nabbing.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper