verb (used with object), grabbed, grab·bing.
- 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.
verb (used without object), grabbed, grab·bing.
Origin of grab1
verb grabs, grabbing or grabbed
Word Origin for grab
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.
In addition to the idiom beginning with grab
- grab bag
- how does that grab you
- up for grabs