What does grapple mean?

Definitions for grapple
ˈgræp əlgrap·ple

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word grapple.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. grapnel, grapple, grappler, grappling hook, grappling ironnoun

    a tool consisting of several hooks for grasping and holding; often thrown with a rope

  2. clamshell, grapplenoun

    a dredging bucket with hinges like the shell of a clam

  3. wrestle, wrestling, grapple, grappling, hand-to-hand struggleverb

    the act of engaging in close hand-to-hand combat

    "they had a fierce wrestle"; "we watched his grappling and wrestling with the bully"

  4. cope, get by, make out, make do, contend, grapple, deal, manageverb

    come to terms with

    "We got by on just a gallon of gas"; "They made do on half a loaf of bread every day"

  5. grapple, gripverb

    to grip or seize, as in a wrestling match

    "the two men grappled with each other for several minutes"

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Grapplenoun

    Etymology: from the verb.

    As when earth’s son, Antæus, strove
    With Jove’s Alcides, and, oft soil’d, still rose Fresh from his fall, and fiercer grapple join’d,
    Throttled at length in th’ air, expir’d and fell. John Milton.

    Or did his genius
    Know mine the stronger demon, fear’d the grapple,
    And, looking round him, found this nook of fate,
    To skulk behind my sword. John Dryden, Don Sebastian.

    In the grapple I boarded them; on the instant they got clear of our ship, so I alone became their prisoner. William Shakespeare, Hamlet.

    But Cymon soon his crooked grapples cast,
    Which with tenacious hold his foes embrac’d. Dryden.

  2. To Grappleverb

    Grapple your minds to sternage of the navy,
    And leave your England as dead midnight still. William Shakespeare, H. V.

    I will put that business in your bosoms,
    Whose execution takes your enemy off,
    Grapples you to the heart and love of us. William Shakespeare, Macbeth.

  3. To GRAPPLEverb

    Etymology: grabbelen, Dutch; krappeln, German.

    They must be also practised in all the locks and gripes of wrestling, as need may often be in fight to tugg or grapple, and to close. John Milton.

    Living virtue, all atchievements past,
    Meets envy, still to grapple with at last. Edmund Waller.

    Does he think that he can grapple with divine vengeance, and endure the everlasting burnings? Robert South, Sermons.

    Antæus here and stern Alcides strive,
    And both the grappling statues seem to live. Addison.

    I’ll in my standard bear the arms of York,
    To grapple with the house of Lancaster. William Shakespeare, Hen. VI.

    Sometimes, from fighting squadrons of each fleet,
    Two grappling Ætna’s on the ocean meet,
    And English fires with Belgian flames contend. Dryden.


  1. grapple

    Grapple generally refers to the act of struggling or wrestling in a close hand-to-hand combat physically, or engaging in a complex or difficult struggle mentally or emotionally. It also could refer to a mechanical device with several hooks, used for seizing and holding objects, often attached to a crane or a similar type of machinery.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Grappleverb

    to seize; to lay fast hold of; to attack at close quarters: as, to grapple an antagonist

  2. Grappleverb

    to fasten, as with a grapple; to fix; to join indissolubly

  3. Grappleverb

    to use a grapple; to contend in close fight; to attach one's self as if by a grapple, as in wrestling; to close; to seize one another

  4. Grappleverb

    a seizing or seizure; close hug in contest; the wrestler's hold

  5. Grappleverb

    an instrument, usually with hinged claws, for seizing and holding fast to an object; a grab

  6. Grappleverb

    a grappling iron

  7. Etymology: [See Grapple, v. t., and cf. Crapple.]


  1. Grapple

    Grapple is a fictional character from the Transformers series. He was a regular character in the original The Transformers animated series, voiced by Pete Renaday. Due to trademark issues, newer toys of this character are named Autobot Grapple or spelled Grappel by Hasbro.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Grapple

    grap′l, v.t. to seize: to lay fast hold of.—v.i. to contend in close fight.—ns. Grapp′lement (Spens.), a grappling, close fight; Grapp′ling-ī′ron, a large grapnel for seizing hostile ships in naval engagements. [O. Fr. grappilgrappe, a hook.]

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. grapple

    To seize; to contend in close fight; to attach one’s self as if by a grapple, as in wrestling; hence to grapple with, to enter into contest with, resolutely and courageously.

Matched Categories

How to pronounce grapple?

How to say grapple in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of grapple in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of grapple in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3

Examples of grapple in a Sentence

  1. Nikuyah Walker:

    ( Removing the statues) is one small step closer to the goal of helping Charlottesville, Virginia, and America grapple with its sin of being willing to destroy Black people for economic gains.

  2. Anne-Sophie Swetchine:

    Providence has hidden a charm in difficult undertakings which is appreciated only by those who dare to grapple with them.

  3. Vikram Singh:

    We are( a) team of Dalit women and not all of us are equipped with digital means of communication. This whole webinar sh * t and online meetings were an added burden, however( the) only good that we see in this phase is that our women learnt to use technology and attempted to grapple with new normal.

  4. Kamala Harris:

    Seems you'd remember something like that and be able to tell William Barr, yeah, but I'm trying to grapple with the word' suggest,'.

  5. Elizabeth Prelogar:

    Congress's attention to the question may soon eliminate any need for Supreme Court to grapple with that constitutional question.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for grapple

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • تصارعArabic
  • auseinandersetzen, kämpfen, ergreifen, ringen, packen, herumschlagenGerman
  • lucharSpanish
  • چنگ زدنPersian
  • combat, lutte, grappin, abordageFrench
  • ग्रेपलHindi
  • raffio, presa, lotta, stretta, rampinoItalian
  • nōnoketanga, nōnoke, whātōtōMāori
  • worsteling, enterhaak, enteringDutch
  • 格鬥Chinese

Get even more translations for grapple »


Find a translation for the grapple definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"grapple." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 14 Jul 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/grapple>.

Discuss these grapple definitions with the community:


    Are we missing a good definition for grapple? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Browse Definitions.net


    Are you a words master?

    of surpassing excellence
    A brilliant
    B disjointed
    C reassuring
    D hatched

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for grapple: