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verb (used without object), grappled, grappling.
to hold or make fast to something, as with a grapple.
to use a grapple.
to seize another, or each other, in a firm grip, as in wrestling; clinch.
to engage in a struggle or close encounter (usually followed by with ): He was grappling with a boy twice his size.
to try to overcome or deal (usually followed by with ): to grapple with a problem.
verb (used with object), grappled, grappling.
to seize, hold, or fasten with or as with a grapple.
to seize in a grip, take hold of: The thug grappled him around the neck.
a hook or an iron instrument by which one thing, as a ship, fastens onto another; grapnel.
a seizing or gripping.
a grip or close hold in wrestling or hand-to-hand fighting.
a close, hand-to-hand fight.

1520–30; apparently a frequentative of Old English gegrǣppian to seize; associated with grapnel

grappler, noun
intergrapple, verb, intergrappled, intergrappling.
ungrappled, adjective

5. struggle, contend, wrestle, cope, tussle.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
grapple (ˈɡræpəl)
vb (foll by with)
1.  to come to grips with (one or more persons), esp to struggle in hand-to-hand combat
2.  to cope or contend: to grapple with a financial problem
3.  (tr) to secure with a grapple
4.  any form of hook or metal instrument by which something is secured, such as a grapnel
5.  a.  the act of gripping or seizing, as in wrestling
 b.  a grip or hold
6.  a contest of grappling, esp a wrestling match
[C16: from Old French grappelle a little hook, from grape hook; see grapnel]

grappling (ˈɡræplɪŋ)
1.  the act of gripping or seizing, as in wrestling
2.  a hook used for securing something

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1295, from O.Fr. grapil "hook" (see grapnel). The verb is 1530, from the noun.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Grappling with a different culture is often part of the challenge, and appeal,
  of teaching abroad.
Public universities, many of them grappling with overall financial cuts, had
  some of the fastest-growing athletic budgets.
We spend a fair amount of time there grappling with exactly these issues.
Perhaps the words aren't so different from those uttered by students around the
  world grappling with a new language.
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