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grasping

[gras-ping, grahs-] /ˈgræs pɪŋ, ˈgrɑs-/
adjective
1.
greedy; avaricious:
a sly, grasping man.
2.
being used to grasp or tending to grasp; tenacious.
Origin
1540-1550
1540-50; grasp + -ing2
Related forms
graspingly, adverb
graspingness, noun
overgrasping, adjective
ungrasping, adjective
Synonyms
1. covetous, selfish, acquisitive, venal.

grasp

[grasp, grahsp] /græsp, grɑsp/
verb (used with object)
1.
to seize and hold by or as if by clasping with the fingers or arms.
2.
to seize upon; hold firmly.
3.
to get hold of mentally; comprehend; understand:
I don't grasp your meaning.
verb (used without object)
4.
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.
noun
5.
the act of grasping or gripping, as with the hands or arms:
to make a grasp at something.
6.
a hold or grip:
to have a firm grasp of a rope.
7.
one's arms or hands, in embracing or gripping:
He took her in his grasp.
8.
one's power of seizing and holding; reach:
to have a thing within one's grasp.
9.
hold, possession, or mastery:
to wrest power from the grasp of a usurper.
10.
mental hold or capacity; power to understand.
11.
broad or thorough comprehension:
a good grasp of computer programming.
Origin
1350-1400; Middle English graspen, grapsen; cognate with Low German grapsen; akin to Old English gegræppian to seize (see grapple)
Related forms
graspable, adjective
grasper, noun
graspless, adjective
regrasp, verb (used with object)
ungraspable, adjective
ungrasped, adjective
Synonyms
1. grip, clutch; grab. See catch. 9. clutches. 10. scope, comprehension. Grasp, reach refer to the power of seizing, either concretely or figuratively. Grasp suggests actually seizing and closing the hand upon something (or, figuratively, thoroughly comprehending something) and therefore refers to what is within one's possession or immediate possibility of possession: a good grasp of a problem; immense mental grasp. Reach suggests a stretching out of (usually) the hand to touch, strike, or, if possible, seize something; it therefore refers to a potentiality of possession that requires an effort. Figuratively, it implies perhaps a faint conception of something still too far beyond one to be definitely and clearly understood.
Antonyms
1. release.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for grasping
  • Those who so bind themselves, and who are not grasping, should be loved and honoured.
  • Let the amelioration in our laws of property proceed from the concession of the rich, not from the grasping of the poor.
  • grasping the bee in its beak, the bird bashes the insect's head on one side of the branch, then rubs its abdomen on the other.
  • Gently grasping an egg in her mouth, she rolls it on her tongue, feeling for signs of life.
  • Holding the end in one hand and grasping the extending yarn, give the yarn a tug.
  • Equipped with grasping tentacles, the nautiloids were effective predators.
  • There is grasping and slicing and chewing and pulling.
  • There are only two functional fingers, unlike the three-fingered grasping hand in related species.
  • It depicts a queen grasping a handful of small, doomed captives.
  • Not only does he suckle the ball, he sort of kneads it with his paws, seemingly grasping for something.
British Dictionary definitions for grasping

grasping

/ˈɡrɑːspɪŋ/
adjective
1.
greedy; avaricious; rapacious
Derived Forms
graspingly, adverb

grasp

/ɡrɑːsp/
verb
1.
to grip (something) firmly with or as if with the hands
2.
when intr, often foll by at. to struggle, snatch, or grope (for)
3.
(transitive) to understand, esp with effort
noun
4.
the act of grasping
5.
a grip or clasp, as of a hand
6.
the capacity to accomplish (esp in the phrase within one's grasp)
7.
total rule or possession
8.
understanding; comprehension
Derived Forms
graspable, adjective
grasper, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Low German grapsen; related to Old English græppian to seize, Old Norse grāpa to steal
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
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Word Origin and History for grasping
adj.

"greedy, acquisitive," late 14c., present participle adjective from grasp (v.).

grasp

v.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with grasping

grasp

In addition to the idiom beginning with grasp also see: get a fix on (grasp of)
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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