- 1[intransitive, transitive] to take a firm hold of somebody/something and struggle with them grapple (with somebody/something) Passers-by grappled with the man after the attack. grapple somebody/something (+ adv./prep.) They managed to grapple him to the ground.
- 2[intransitive] to try hard to find a solution to a problem grapple with something The new government has yet to grapple with the problem of air pollution. a government trying to grapple with inflation an attempt to grapple with this very difficult issue grapple to do something I was grappling to find an answer to his question. Word Origin Middle English (as a noun denoting a grappling hook): from Old French grapil, from Provençal, diminutive of grapa
BrE BrE//ˈɡræpl//; NAmE NAmE//ˈɡræpl//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they grapple
BrE BrE//ˈɡræpl//; NAmE NAmE//ˈɡræpl//he / she / it grapples
BrE BrE//ˈɡræplz//; NAmE NAmE//ˈɡræplz//past simple grappled
BrE BrE//ˈɡræpld//; NAmE NAmE//ˈɡræpld//past participle grappled
BrE BrE//ˈɡræpld//; NAmE NAmE//ˈɡræpld//-ing form grappling
BrE BrE//ˈɡræplɪŋ//; NAmE NAmE//ˈɡræplɪŋ//