See more synonyms for grip on
  1. the act of grasping; a seizing and holding fast; firm grasp.
  2. the power of gripping: He has a strong grip.
  3. a grasp, hold, or control.
  4. mental or intellectual hold: to have a good grip on a problem.
  5. competence or firmness in dealing with situations in one's work or personal affairs: The boss is old and is losing his grip.
  6. a special mode of clasping hands: Members of the club use the secret grip.
  7. something that seizes and holds, as a clutching device on a cable car.
  8. a handle or hilt: That knife has a very unusual grip.
  9. a sudden, sharp pain; spasm of pain.
  10. grippe.
  11. Older Use. a small traveling bag.
    1. Theater.a stagehand, especially one who works on the stage floor.
    2. Movies, Television.a general assistant available on a film set for shifting scenery, moving furniture, etc.
verb (used with object), gripped or gript, grip·ping.
  1. to grasp or seize firmly; hold fast: We gripped the sides of the boat as the waves tossed us about.
  2. to take hold on; hold the interest of: to grip the mind.
  3. to attach by a grip or clutch.
verb (used without object), gripped or gript, grip·ping.
  1. to take firm hold; hold fast.
  2. to take hold on the mind.
  1. come to grips with,
    1. to encounter; meet; cope with: She had never come to grips with such a situation before.
    2. to deal with directly or firmly: We didn't come to grips with the real problem.

Origin of grip

before 900; Middle English, Old English gripe grasp (noun); cognate with German Griff, Old English gripa handful; see gripe
Related formsgrip·less, adjectivere·grip, verb, re·gripped or re·gript, re·grip·ping.un·grip, verb, un·gripped, un·grip·ping.
Can be confusedgrip gripe grippe

Synonyms for grip

See more synonyms for on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for grip

Contemporary Examples of grip

Historical Examples of grip

  • And when the wrenching at his forearms ceased he instantly relaxed his grip.

  • Only, I—I sort of lost my grip on the way here, with this man by my side.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • Whereupon they shook hands with a grip that whitened their knuckles.

    Her Father's Daughter

    Gene Stratton-Porter

  • Peter slammed its door to, crushing them so that he loosed his grip, with a howl.

    Fair Margaret

    H. Rider Haggard

  • "Now put your hand up an' grip that rope that's hangin' there," commanded Brad.

    Tiverton Tales

    Alice Brown

British Dictionary definitions for grip


  1. the act or an instance of grasping and holding firmlyhe lost his grip on the slope
  2. Also called: handgrip the strength or pressure of such a grasp, as in a handshakea feeble grip
  3. the style or manner of grasping an object, such as a tennis racket
  4. understanding, control, or mastery of a subject, problem, etc (esp in such phrases as get or have a grip on)
  5. Also called: handgrip a part by which an object is grasped; handle
  6. Also called: handgrip a travelling bag or holdall
  7. See hairgrip
  8. any device that holds by friction, such as certain types of brake
  9. a method of clasping or shaking hands used by members of secret societies to greet or identify one another
  10. a spasm of paina grip in one's stomach
  11. a worker in a camera crew or a stagehand who shifts sets and props, etc
  12. a small drainage channel cut above an excavation to conduct surface water away from the excavation
  13. get to grips or come to grips (often foll by with)
    1. to deal with (a problem or subject)
    2. to tackle (an assailant)
verb grips, gripping or gripped
  1. to take hold of firmly or tightly, as by a clutch
  2. to hold the interest or attention ofto grip an audience
Derived Formsgripper, noungrippingly, adverb

Word Origin for grip

Old English gripe grasp; related to Old Norse gripr property, Old High German grif


  1. med a variant spelling of grippe
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 grip

Old English grippan "to grip, seize, obtain" (class I strong verb; past tense grap, past participle gripen), from West Germanic *gripjan (cf. Old High German gripfen "to rob," Old English gripan "to seize;" see gripe). Related: Gripped; gripping. French gripper "to seize," griffe "claw" are Germanic loan-words.


fusion of Old English gripe "grasp, clutch" and gripa "handful, sheaf" (see grip (v.)). Meaning "stage hand" is from 1888, from their work shifting scenery.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with grip


see come to grips with; get a grip on; lose one's grip.

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