[ grab ]
/ græb /

verb (used with object), grabbed, grab·bing.

verb (used without object), grabbed, grab·bing.

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.


Nearby words

  1. gr.,
  2. gr. br.,
  3. gr. wt.,
  4. gr8,
  5. graafian follicle,
  6. grab bag,
  7. grab bar,
  8. grab rope,
  9. grab-bag,
  10. grabber


    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 grab

1580–90; cognate with Middle Dutch, Middle Low German grabben, Swedish grabba

Related formsgrab·ba·ble, adjectiveun·grab·bing, adjective


[ grab ]
/ græb /


a ship having two or three masts with a square rig, common on the Malabar Coast in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Origin of grab

First recorded in 1670–80, grab is from the Arabic word ghurāb literally, raven Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for grabs

British Dictionary definitions for grabs


/ (ɡræb) /

verb grabs, grabbing or grabbed


Derived Formsgrabber, noun

Word Origin for grab

C16: probably from Middle Low German or Middle Dutch grabben; related to Swedish grabba, Sanskrit grbhnāti he seizes

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 grabs
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with grabs


In addition to the idiom beginning with grab

  • grab bag

also see:

  • how does that grab you
  • up for grabs
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.