- 1 [transitive, intransitive] to take or hold somebody/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 cake from the plate.
- 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[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 [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' sleep on the plane. Grab a seat, I won't keep you a moment.
- 5 [transitive] grab something to take something for yourself, especially in a selfish or greedy way By the time we arrived, someone had grabbed all the good seats. She's always trying to grab the limelight.
- 6[transitive] grab somebody/something to get somebody’s attention I'll see if I can grab the waitress and get the bill. Glasgow’s drugs problem 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. More Like This Consonant-doubling verbs bob, club, dub, grab, rub, sob, throb kid, nod, pad, plod, prod, shred, skid, thud beg, blog, bug, drag, drug, flag, hug, jog, log, mug, nag, plug bar, confer, infer, occur, prefer, refer, star, stir, transfer acquit, admit, allot, chat, clot, commit, jut, knit, pat, regret, rot, spot, submit (in British English:) appal, cancel, channel, control, counsel, enrol, equal, excel, fuel, fulfil, label, level, marvel, model, pedal, quarrel, signal, travelSee worksheet. See related entries: Showing interest Word Origin late 16th cent.: from Middle Low German and Middle Dutch grabben; perhaps related to grip, gripe, and grope.Extra examples He grabbed hold of a handrail to save himself from falling. He managed to grab a couple of hours’ sleep. I grabbed at his arm as he ran past. Somebody tried to grab her handbag from her. Don’t grab—there’s plenty for everyone. He grabbed hold of me and wouldn’t let go. He’ll grab at any excuse to avoid hard work. She grabbed the child’s hand and ran.Idioms (informal) used to ask somebody whether they are interested in something or in doing something How does the idea of a trip to Rome grab you?
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BrE BrE//ɡræb//; NAmE NAmE//ɡræb//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they grab
BrE BrE//ɡræb//; NAmE NAmE//ɡræb//he / she / it grabs
BrE BrE//ɡræbz//; NAmE NAmE//ɡræbz//past simple grabbed
BrE BrE//ɡræbd//; NAmE NAmE//ɡræbd//past participle grabbed
BrE BrE//ɡræbd//; NAmE NAmE//ɡræbd//-ing form grabbing
BrE BrE//ˈɡræbɪŋ//; NAmE NAmE//ˈɡræbɪŋ//Showing interest