Date: 1500-1600
Language: Middle Dutch
Origin: Middle Low German grabben


1 verb
grab1 S3 W3 past tense and past participle grabbed, present participle grabbing [transitive]

with your hand

to take hold of someone or something with a sudden or violent movement [= snatch]:
I grabbed my bag and ran off.
Two men grabbed her and pushed her to the ground.
Kay grabbed hold of my arm to stop herself falling.
grab something from somebody/something
I managed to grab the gun from Bowen.


informal to get some food or sleep quickly because you are busy [= snatch]:
Why don't you go and grab some sleep?
Hang on while I grab a cup of coffee.
Let's grab a bite to eat before we go.

get something for yourself

to get something for yourself, sometimes in an unfair way:
Try to get there early and grab good seats.
Bob tried to grab all the profit.


informal also grab at something to take an opportunity, accept an invitation etc immediately:
I think you should grab your chance to travel while you're young.
She grabbed the opportunity to go to America.
Melanie grabbed at the invitation to go.
This is our chance to grab a slice of this new market.

get attention

to get someone's attention:
The book is full of good ideas to grab your students' attention.
The plight of the refugees immediately grabbed the headlines (=was the most important story in the newspapers).

how does something grab you?

spoken used to ask someone if they would be interested in doing a particular thing:
How does the idea of a trip to Spain grab you?

grab at/for something

phrasal verb
to quickly and suddenly put out your hand to try and catch or get something:
I grabbed at the glass just before it fell.
Lucy grabbed for the money.

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