- 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 for grasp on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for grasped
His voice broke, but he grasped my hand, saying, “Courage, Alec.”Read ‘The King in Yellow,’ the ‘True Detective’ Reference That’s the Key to the Show
Robert W. Chambers
February 20, 2014
But what she grasped better than so many Ph.D.s was the role that emotion and human frailties played in the sweep of history.No One Wins Washington’s Zero-Sum Games
October 11, 2013
For a flash, I grasped the Holy Grail of my endless tap, tap, tapping on the door.I Can’t Shake Hawaii: An Ode to Returning to Places You’ve Been Before
Debra A. Klein
October 7, 2013
The woman who grasped Britain's unions by the neck and hurled them repeatedly against the wall, like some floppy rag doll.How Margaret Thatcher Transformed British Politics
April 8, 2013
A boy put his hand into a jar of filberts and grasped as many as his fist could possibly hold.Negotiating Advice for Republicans
December 10, 2012
He took two quick steps forward and grasped one of her wrists.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
Haley had grasped him by the shoulder, and in his grasp the boy's strength was nothing.Brave and Bold
His quick mind had grasped the fact that it was the girl's bedroom he had taken.K
Mary Roberts Rinehart
Presently he grasped Mrs. Ritter's hand, and pressed it almost painfully.Rico and Wiseli
Her incoherence vanished as she grasped at a practical consideration.The Bacillus of Beauty
- 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 grasped
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.