up for grabs


1 [grab]
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.
to cause a reaction in; affect: How does my idea grab you?
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.

1580–90; cognate with Middle Dutch, Middle Low German grabben, Swedish grabba

grabbable, adjective
ungrabbing, adjective

1. grasp, grip, catch.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
grab (ɡræb)
vb , grabs, grabbing, grabbed
1.  to seize hold of (something)
2.  (tr) to seize illegally or unscrupulously
3.  (tr) to arrest; catch
4.  (intr) (of a brake or clutch in a vehicle) to grip and release intermittently causing juddering
5.  informal (tr) to catch the attention or interest of; impress
6.  the act or an instance of grabbing
7.  a mechanical device for gripping objects, esp the hinged jaws of a mechanical excavator
8.  something that is grabbed
9.  informal up for grabs available to be bought, claimed, or won
[C16: probably from Middle Low German or Middle Dutch grabben; related to Swedish grabba, Sanskrit grbhnāti he seizes]

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

1589, from M.Du. or M.L.G. grabben "to grab," from P.Gmc. *grab (cf. O.H.G. garba "sheaf," lit. "that which is gathered up together"), from PIE *gherebh- "to seize" (cf. Skt. grbhnati "seizes," O.Pers. grab- "seize" as possession or prisoner, O.C.S. grabiti "to seize, rob," Lith. grebiu "to rake"). First
record of grab-bag "miscellaneous mixture" is 1855, originally a carnival game.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

up for grabs

Available to anyone, as in Now that he's resigned, his job is up for grabs. This term alludes to something being thrown in the air for anyone to grasp or catch. [Colloquial; 1920s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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