Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

grasp

1 verb
     
grasp1 [transitive]
1 to take and hold something firmly [= grip]:
I grasped his arm firmly and led him away.
Alan grasped the handle and pulled it.
2 [not in progressive] to completely understand a fact or an idea, especially a complicated one:
At that time, we did not fully grasp the significance of what had happened.
Some people find the idea of relativity difficult to grasp.
grasp what/how etc
A short opening paragraph enables the reader to quickly grasp what the article is about.
grasp that
Nick had grasped that something was wrong.
3

grasp an opportunity

to eagerly and quickly use an opportunity to do something:
She is ready to grasp any opportunity to expand the business.
4

grasp the nettle

British English to deal with an unpleasant situation firmly and without delay:
We need to grasp the nettle of prison reform.

grasp at something

phrasal verb
to try to hold on to something:
His foot slipped and he grasped at the top of the wall.

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