- to seize and hold by or as if by clasping with the fingers or arms.
- to seize upon; hold firmly.
- to get hold of mentally; comprehend; understand: I don't grasp your meaning.
- to make an attempt to seize, or a motion of seizing, something (usually followed by at or for): a drowning man grasping at straws; to grasp for an enemy's rifle.
- the act of grasping or gripping, as with the hands or arms: to make a grasp at something.
- a hold or grip: to have a firm grasp of a rope.
- one's arms or hands, in embracing or gripping: He took her in his grasp.
- one's power of seizing and holding; reach: to have a thing within one's grasp.
- hold, possession, or mastery: to wrest power from the grasp of a usurper.
- mental hold or capacity; power to understand.
- broad or thorough comprehension: a good grasp of computer programming.
Origin of grasp
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for ungraspable
It is the image of the ungraspable phantom of life; and this is the key to it all.Moby Dick; or The Whale
Since then he has cultivated only that ungraspable forelock.
He had no real knowledge of the subject, and I had none of any kind, which made its ungraspable facts all the more thrilling.Mark Twain, A Biography, 1835-1910, Complete
Albert Bigelow Paine
There were times when the ungraspable idea came before her that Juliet was herself.The Ghost Girl
H. De Vere Stacpoole
Everything was elusive, ungraspable, evasive—he seemed to get no further forward.In the Mayor's Parlour
J. S. (Joseph Smith) Fletcher
- to grip (something) firmly with or as if with the hands
- (when intr, often foll by at) to struggle, snatch, or grope (for)
- (tr) to understand, esp with effort
- the act of grasping
- a grip or clasp, as of a hand
- the capacity to accomplish (esp in the phrase within one's grasp)
- total rule or possession
- understanding; comprehension
Word Origin and History for ungraspable
mid-14c., "to reach for, feel around," possibly a metathesis of grapsen, from Old English *græpsan "to touch, feel," from Proto-Germanic *grap-, *grab- (cf. East Frisian grapsen "to grasp," Middle Dutch grapen "to seize, grasp," Old English grapian "to touch, feel, grope"), from PIE root *ghrebh- (see grab). Sense of "seize" first recorded mid-16c. Figurative use from c.1600; of intellectual matters from 1680s. Related: Grasped; grasping. The noun is from 1560s.