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Noun, Verb (usu participle), Verb (transitive)


Noun grasp has 4 senses

Verb grasp has 2 senses


graspv. t. [OE. graspen; prob. akin to LG. grupsen, or to E. grope. Cf. Grab, Grope.].
  •  To seize and hold by clasping or embracing with the fingers or arms; to catch to take possession of.  [1913 Webster]
    "Thy hand is made to grasp a palmer's staff."  [1913 Webster]
  •  To lay hold of with the mind; to become thoroughly acquainted or conversant with; to comprehend.  [1913 Webster]
graspv. i. 
     To effect a grasp; to make the motion of grasping; to clutch; to struggle; to strive.  [1913 Webster]
    "As one that grasped And tugged for life and was by strength subdued."  [1913 Webster]
To grasp at, to catch at; to try to seize; as, Alexander grasped at universal empire,
  •  A gripe or seizure of the hand; a seizure by embrace, or infolding in the arms.  Shak.  [1913 Webster]
  •  Reach of the arms; hence, the power of seizing and holding; as, it was beyond his grasp.  [1913 Webster]
  •  Forcible possession; hold.  [1913 Webster]
    "The whole space that's in the tyrant's grasp."  [1913 Webster]
  •  Wide-reaching power of intellect to comprehend subjects and hold them under survey.  [1913 Webster]
    "The foremost minds of the next . . . era were not, in power of grasp, equal to their predecessors."  [1913 Webster]
  •  The handle of a sword or of an oar.  [1913 Webster]


grasp, v. & n.
1 tr. a clutch at; seize greedily. b hold firmly; grip.
2 intr. (foll. by at) try to seize; accept avidly.
3 tr. understand or realize (a fact or meaning).
1 a firm hold; a grip.
2 (foll. by of) a mastery or control (a grasp of the situation). b a mental hold or understanding (a grasp of the facts).
3 mental agility (a quick grasp).

grasp at a straw see STRAW. grasp the nettle tackle a difficulty boldly. within one's grasp capable of being grasped or comprehended by one.
graspable adj. grasper n.
ME graspe, grapse perh. f. OE gr{aelig}psan (unrecorded) f. Gmc, rel. to GROPE: cf. LG grapsen



abduct, absorb, accept, adhere, adhere to, agglomerate, appreciate, apprehend, apprehension, assimilate, awareness, be acquainted with, be apprised of, be aware of, be cognizant of, be conscious of, be conversant with, be informed, be with one, bear hug, bite, bunch, carry off, catch, catch on, clairvoyance, clamp, clasp, claws, cleave, cleave to, clench, clinch, cling, cling to, clinging, clip, clot, cluster, clutch, clutches, coagulate, cognize, cohere, command, compass, comprehend, comprehension, conceive, conception, conceptualization, conceptualize, congeal, conglomerate, control, death grip, dig, digest, discern, domination, dominion, embrace, envisage, fathom, firm hold, follow, foothold, footing, foreknowledge, freeze to, get, get hold of, get the drift, get the idea, get the picture, grab, grapple, grip, gripe, grow together, haft, hand, handle, hands, hang on, hang on to, hang together, have, have information about, have it taped, have knowledge of, helm, helve, hold, hold fast, hold on, hold on to, hold tight, hold together, hug, ideation, intellection, intelligence, iron grip, iron hand, jurisdiction, keep hold of, ken, kidnap, know, learn, lock, make out, mass, master, mastership, mastery, mental grasp, nab, never let go, nip, perceive, perception, persist, possess, possession, power, precognition, prehend, prehension, purchase, read, realize, recognize, reins of government, savvy, see, seize, seize the meaning, seizure, sense, set, shanghai, snatch, solidify, sovereignty, stay, stay put, stick, stick to, stick together, suzerainty, take, take hold of, take in, talons, tenure, throttle, tight grip, toehold, understand, understanding, wisdom, wot, wot of




N authority, influence, patronage, power, preponderance, credit, prestige, prerogative, jurisdiction, right, direction, government, divine right, dynastic rights, authoritativeness, absoluteness, absolutism, despotism, jus nocendi, jus divinum, mastery, mastership, masterdom, dictation, control, hold, grasp, grip, gripe, reach, iron sway, fangs, clutches, talons, rod of empire, commission, deputy, permission, at the head, dominant, paramount, supreme, predominant, preponderant, in the ascendant, influential, arbitrary, compulsory, stringent, at one's command, in one's power, in one's grasp, under control, in the name of, by the authority of, de par le Roi, in virtue of, under the auspices of, in the hands of, at one's pleasure, by a dash if the pen, by a stroke of the pen, ex mero motu, ex cathedra, from the chair, the gray mare the better horse, every inch a king.


N retention, retaining, keep, detention, custody, tenacity, firm hold, grasp, gripe, grip, iron grip, fangs, teeth, claws, talons, nail, unguis, hook, tentacle, tenaculum, bond, clutches, tongs, forceps, pincers, nippers, pliers, vice, paw, hand, finger, wrist, fist, neaf, neif, bird in hand, captive, retaining, retentive, tenacious, unforfeited, undeprived, undisposed, uncommunicated, incommunicable, inalienable, in mortmain, in strict settlement, uti possidetis.

VB retain, keep, hold fast one's own, hold tight one's own, hold fast one's ground, hold tight one's ground, clinch, clench, clutch, grasp, gripe, hug, have a firm hold of, secure, withhold, detain, hold back, keep back, keep close, husband, reserve, have in stock, have on hand, keep in stock, entail, tie up, settle.


VB covet, crave (desire), grasp, exact, extort.


VB be parsimonious, grudge, begrudge, stint, pinch, gripe, screw, dole out, hold back, withhold, starve, famish, live upon nothing, skin a flint, drive a bargain, drive a hard bargain, cheapen, beat down, stop one hole in a sieve, have an itching palm, grasp, grab.


N tenacity, toughness, strength, (cohesion), grip, grasp, stickiness, (cohesion), sequacity, stubbornness (obstinacy), glue, cement, glutinousness, sequaciousness, viscidity, (semiliquidity), leather, white leather, whitleather, gristle, cartilage, unbreakability, tensile strength, tenacious, tough, strong, resisting, sequacious, stringy, gristly cartilaginous, leathery, coriaceous, tough as whitleather, stubborn, unbreakable, indivisible, atomic.

VB be tenacious, resist fracture, grip, grasp, stick (cohesion).


VB be intelligible, speak for itself, speak volumes, tell its own tale, lie on the surface, render intelligible, popularize, simplify, clear up, elucidate, understand, comprehend, take, take in, catch, grasp, follow, collect, master, make out, see with half an eye, see daylight, see one's way, enter into the ideas of, come to an understanding.

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