Why was clemency trending last week?


[grab] /græb/
verb (used with object), grabbed, grabbing.
to seize suddenly or quickly; snatch; clutch:
He grabbed me by the collar.
to take illegal possession of; seize forcibly or unscrupulously:
to grab land.
to obtain and consume quickly:
Let's grab a sandwich before going to the movie.
  1. to cause a reaction in; affect:
    How does my idea grab you?
  2. to arouse the interest or excitement of:
    The book was O.K., but it just didn't grab me.
verb (used without object), grabbed, grabbing.
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.
a sudden, quick grasp or snatch:
to make a grab at something.
seizure or acquisition by violent or unscrupulous means.
something that is grabbed.
a mechanical device for gripping objects.
the capacity to hold or adhere:
The glue was so old it had lost its grab.
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 grab1
1580-90; cognate with Middle Dutch, Middle Low German grabben, Swedish grabba
Related forms
grabbable, adjective
ungrabbing, adjective
1. grasp, grip, catch. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for grabbed
  • Millions of years back, they apparently grabbed the genes for making carotenoids directly from a carotenoid-producing fungus.
  • Or a time you grabbed a magazine off a newsstand, or raised a hand to hail a taxi.
  • Roy grabbed its tail and yanked the broken thing out from under.
  • grabbed his shoulder or arm, squeezed the muscle against the bone.
  • He grabbed one of the pieces before surfacing in order to have proof of what he had seen.
  • He grabbed her hair and stuffed the knickers in her mouth.
  • She retreated, grabbed a branch sticking out of the water, and used it to gauge the water's depth before wading deeper.
  • When grabbed by a predator, the sea star can simply lose a limb and later grow a replacement.
  • As they drowned, and the fire began to engulf the rudder, she grabbed a small board and floated away.
  • For me, that means a small, carefully packed piece that can be grabbed at a moment's notice.
British Dictionary definitions for grabbed


verb grabs, grabbing, grabbed
to seize hold of (something)
(transitive) to seize illegally or unscrupulously
(transitive) to arrest; catch
(intransitive) (of a brake or clutch in a vehicle) to grip and release intermittently causing juddering
(transitive) (informal) to catch the attention or interest of; impress
the act or an instance of grabbing
a mechanical device for gripping objects, esp the hinged jaws of a mechanical excavator
something that is grabbed
(informal) up for grabs, available to be bought, claimed, or won
Derived Forms
grabber, noun
Word Origin
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for grabbed



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.


1777, "thing grabbed;" 1824, "act of grabbing," from grab (v.). Up for grabs attested from 1945 in jive talk.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for grabbed



An arrest; bust, pinch: We will get credit for the grab, and we will also profit/ The only thing worse than no grab is a bad grab (1753+ Police)


To seize the admiration or attention of; impress: How does that grab you?/ to reflect on a whole lot of things that had been grabbing me (1966+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with grabbed


In addition to the idiom beginning with
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for grab

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for grabbed

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with grabbed

Nearby words for grabbed