English

Definition of grapple verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

     

    grapple

     verb
    verb
    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//
     
     
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  1. 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. 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.
  3. Word Origin Middle English (as a noun denoting a grappling hook): from Old French grapil, from Provençal, diminutive of grapa ‘hook’, of Germanic origin; related to grape. The verb dates from the mid 16th cent.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: grapple