What does grasp mean?

Definitions for grasp
græsp, grɑspgrasp

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

Princeton's WordNet

  1. appreciation, grasp, holdnoun

    understanding of the nature or meaning or quality or magnitude of something

    "he has a good grasp of accounting practices"

  2. compass, range, reach, graspnoun

    the limit of capability

    "within the compass of education"

  3. grip, graspnoun

    an intellectual hold or understanding

    "a good grip on French history"; "they kept a firm grip on the two top priorities"; "he was in the grip of a powerful emotion"; "a terrible power had her in its grasp"

  4. clasp, clench, clutch, clutches, grasp, grip, holdverb

    the act of grasping

    "he released his clasp on my arm"; "he has a strong grip for an old man"; "she kept a firm hold on the railing"

  5. grasp, hold onverb

    hold firmly

  6. grok, get the picture, comprehend, savvy, dig, grasp, compass, apprehendverb

    get the meaning of something

    "Do you comprehend the meaning of this letter?"


  1. graspnoun


  2. graspnoun


  3. graspnoun

    that which is accessible; that which is within one's reach or ability

    The goal is within my grasp.

  4. graspverb

    To grip; to take hold, particularly with the hand.

  5. graspverb

    To understand.

  6. Etymology: Originally "to feel around", possibly metathesis of græpsan "to touch, feel," from Proto-Germanic *graipison.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Graspnoun

    Etymology: from the verb.

    Nor wanted in his grasp
    What seem’d both spear and shield. John Milton, Paradise Lost.

    This hand and sword have been acquainted well;
    It should have come before into my grasp,
    To kill the ravisher. John Dryden, Don Sebastian.

    The left arm is a little defaced, though one may see it held something in its grasp formerly. Joseph Addison, on Italy.

    I would not be the villain that thou think’st
    For the whole space that’s in the tyrant’s grasp,
    And the rich East to boot. William Shakespeare, Macbeth.

    Within the direful grasp
    Of savage hunger, or of savage heat. John Milton.

    They looked upon it as their own, and had it even within their grasp. Edward Hyde, b. viii.

  2. To GRASPverb

    Etymology: graspare, Italian.

    O fool that I am, that thought I could grasp water and bind the wind. Philip Sidney, b. ii.

    In his right hand
    Grasping ten thousand thunders, which he sent
    Before him, such as in their souls infix’d
    Plagues. John Milton, Paradise Lost, b. vi.

    Kings, by grasping more than they could hold,
    First made their subjects, by oppression, bold. John Denham.

    Doom, as they please, my empire not to stand,
    I’ll grasp my sceptre with my dying hand. John Dryden, Ind. Emp.

    This grasping of the militia of the kingdom into their own hands, was desired the Summer before. Edward Hyde.

  3. To Graspverb

    So endless and exorbitant are the desires of men, that they will grasp at all, and can form no scheme of perfect happiness with less. Jonathan Swift.

    See, his face is black and full of blood;
    His hands abroad display’d, as one that graspt
    And tugg’d for life. William Shakespeare, Henry VI. p. ii.

    Like a miser ’midst his store,
    Who grasps and grasps ’till he can hold no more. Dryden.


  1. Grasp

    A grasp is an act of taking, holding or seizing firmly with (or as if with) the hand. An example of a grasp is the handshake, wherein two people grasp one of each other's like hands. In zoology particularly, prehensility is the quality of an appendage or organ that has adapted for grasping or holding. Grasping is often preceded by reaching, which is highly dependent on head and trunk control, as well as eye control and gaze.


  1. grasp

    Grasp refers to the act of seizing, holding, or understanding something firmly and effectively. In a physical context, it means to hold something securely with hands or arms. In a mental context, it implies understanding, comprehending, or mastering a concept, idea, or knowledge.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Graspverb

    to seize and hold by clasping or embracing with the fingers or arms; to catch to take possession of

  2. Graspverb

    to lay hold of with the mind; to become thoroughly acquainted or conversant with; to comprehend

  3. Graspverb

    to effect a grasp; to make the motion of grasping; to clutch; to struggle; to strive

  4. Graspnoun

    a gripe or seizure of the hand; a seizure by embrace, or infolding in the arms

  5. Graspnoun

    reach of the arms; hence, the power of seizing and holding; as, it was beyond his grasp

  6. Graspnoun

    forcible possession; hold

  7. Graspnoun

    wide-reaching power of intellect to comprehend subjects and hold them under survey

  8. Graspnoun

    the handle of a sword or of an oar

  9. Etymology: [OE. graspen; prob. akin to LG. grupsen, or to E. grope. Cf. Grab, Grope.]


  1. GRASP

    GRASP is a well known SAT instance solver. It was developed by João Marques Silva, a Portuguese computer science researcher. It stands for Generic seaRch Algorithm for the Satisfiability Problem.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Grasp

    grasp, v.t. to seize and hold by clasping with the fingers or arms: to catch at: to comprehend.—v.i. to endeavour to seize: to catch (with at).—n. gripe of the hand: reach of the arms: power of seizing: mental power of apprehension.—adj. Grasp′able.—n. Grasp′er.—p.adj. Grasp′ing, seizing: avaricious: encroaching.—adv. Grasp′ingly.—n. Grasp′ingness.—adj. Grasp′less, feeble, relaxed. [M. E. graspengrapsen, as clasp—M. E. claspen; allied to grope, grapple.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. grasp

    The handle of a sword, and of an oar. Also, the small of the butt of a musket.

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. grasp

    The handle of a sword, and of an oar. Also, the small part of the stock of a musket.

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'grasp' in Verbs Frequency: #803

How to pronounce grasp?

How to say grasp in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of grasp in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of grasp in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of grasp in a Sentence

  1. James Russell Lowell:

    Mishaps are like knives, that either serve us or cut us, as we grasp them by the blade or the handle.

  2. John Dryden:

    How can finite grasp infinity

  3. Robert Louis Stephenson:

    The best things in life are nearest Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life's plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life.

  4. Lao Tzu:

    Without going out-of-doors, one can know all he needs to know. Without even looking out of his window, one can grasp the nature of everything. Without going beyond his own nature, one can achieve ultimate wisdom. Therefore, the intelligent man knows all he needs to know without going away, And sees all he needs to see without looking elsewhere, And does all he needs to do wihout undue exertion.

  5. Michelle Obama:

    While I know there have been critics, I felt that, more often than not, this film touches on many of the emotions and experiences that I've heard firsthand from military families over these past few years, here's why a movie like this is important: see, the vast majority of Americans will never see these stories. They will never grasp these issues on an emotional level without portrayals like this.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for grasp

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • يفهم، يمسك، يقب, قبضةArabic
  • comprendreCatalan, Valencian
  • uchopit, porozumění, uchopení, stisknout, pochopit, sevřeníCzech
  • gribe, begribeDanish
  • begreifen, Griff, erfassen, greifen, verstehen, VerständnisGerman
  • ekteniEsperanto
  • asimiento, asir, agarrar, comprensión, comprenderSpanish
  • فهمPersian
  • käsittää, käsillä, ote, käsitys, taju, ymmärrys, tarttua, käsissä, tajuta, puristaaFinnish
  • agripper, comprendre, saisirFrench
  • glacadhScottish Gaelic
  • לפיתה, הבנה, תפיסהHebrew
  • átérez, felfogHungarian
  • կառչելArmenian
  • genggamanIndonesian
  • avvinghiarsi, presa, comprendere, padronanza, agguantare, avvinghiare, stretta, afferrare, comprensione, capireItalian
  • לִתְפּוֹסHebrew
  • 掴むJapanese
  • ಗ್ರಹಿಸಿKannada
  • sumo, teneoLatin
  • mamauMāori
  • begrijpen, grip, snappen, vastpakken, begrip, grijpenDutch
  • begripeNorwegian
  • pojęcie, trzymać, pojmować, rozumieć, uchwyt, chwytać, zrozumienie, rozumieniePolish
  • compreensão, alcance, compreender, agarrar, entenderPortuguese
  • схватить, понять, хватать, схватывать, пониматьRussian
  • förståelse, gripa, grepp, räckhåll, begrepp, begripa, greppa, fattaSwedish
  • పట్టుకొను, ఆకళింపు చేసుకొను, గ్రహించుTelugu
  • kavramakTurkish
  • gleipönVolapük
  • 把握Chinese

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"grasp." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 10 Dec. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/grasp>.

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    manifestly demonstrative
    • A. splay
    • B. lacerate
    • C. ostensive
    • D. numinous

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