• synonyms

grab bag



a container or receptacle from which a person at a party or the like draws a gift without knowing what it is.
any miscellaneous collection.


What does 👜- Handbag Emoji mean?Read more in this article about some frequently asked questions and fun facts related to our definitions.


ragbag, tontine

Nearby words

gr. br., gr. wt., gr8, graafian follicle, grab, grab bag, grab bar, grab rope, grab-bag, grabber, grabble

Origin of grab bag

An Americanism dating back to 1850–55 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for grab-bag

British Dictionary definitions for grab-bag

grab bag


a collection of miscellaneous things
US, Canadian and Australian a bag or other container from which gifts are drawn at random
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 grab-bag



"miscellaneous mixture," 1854, originally a carnival game; from grab + bag (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with grab-bag

grab bag

A miscellaneous collection, as in The meeting amounted to a grab bag of petty complaints. This term alludes to a container offered at a party or fair, where one dips in for a party favor or prize without knowing what one will get. [Mid-1800s]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.