American English

Definition of grab verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they grab
    he / she / it grabs
    past simple grabbed
    -ing form grabbing
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  1. 1[transitive, intransitive] to take or hold someone or something with your hand suddenly, firmly, or roughly synonym seize grab (something) She grabbed the child's hand and ran. He grabbed hold of me and wouldn't let go. He grabbed her around the throat and squeezed. Someone grabbed me from behind. Don't grab—there's plenty for everyone. grab something from somebody/something Jim grabbed a cookie from the plate.
  2. 2[intransitive] to try to take hold of something grab at something She grabbed at the branch, missed, and fell. grab for something Kate grabbed for the robber's gun.
  3. 3[transitive, intransitive] to take advantage of an opportunity to do or have something synonym seize grab something This was my big chance and I grabbed it with both hands. grab at something He'll grab at any excuse to avoid doing the dishes.
  4. 4[transitive] grab something to have or take something quickly, especially because you are in a hurry Let's grab a sandwich before we go. I'll grab a bite to eat in town. Grab a cab and get over here. I managed to grab a couple of hours of sleep on the plane. Grab a seat, I'll only keep you a moment.
  5. 5[transitive] grab something to take something for yourself without thinking about other people By the time we arrived, someone had grabbed all the good seats. She's always trying to grab the limelight.
  6. 6[transitive] grab somebody/something to get someone's attention I'll see if I can grab the waitress and get the bill. The mayor's campaign scandal has grabbed the headlines tonight (= been published as an important story in the newspapers). The play grabs the audience's attention from the very start.
  7. Idioms
    how does…grab you? (informal)
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    used to ask someone whether they are interested in something or in doing something How does the idea of a trip to Rome grab you?
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: grab