Meaning of “grasp” in the English Dictionary

"grasp" in British English

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graspverb [ T ]

uk /ɡrɑːsp/ us /ɡræsp/

grasp verb [ T ] (TAKE)

C1 to quickly take something in your hand(s) and hold it firmly:

Rosie suddenly grasped my hand.

If you grasp an opportunity, you take it eagerly:

We must grasp every opportunity to strengthen economic ties with other countries.

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Phrasal verb(s)


uk /ɡrɑːsp/ us /ɡræsp/

grasp noun (HOLD)

C2 [ S ] the act of holding onto someone or something:

He shook my hand with a very firm grasp.

C2 [ U ] the ability to get, achieve, or keep something:

The presidency at last looked within her grasp (= it looked possible that she might become president).
Why is success always beyond my grasp (= impossible to get)?
The gold medal slipped from his grasp (= he was unable to get it) in the last moments of the race.
I sometimes think that he's losing his grasp on reality (= his ability to judge what is real and what is not).

(Definition of “grasp” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"grasp" in American English

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us /ɡræsp/

grasp verb (HOLD)

[ I/T ] to take something quickly, in your hand, and hold it firmly:

[ T ] I grasped his arm to keep from falling.

grasp verb (UNDERSTAND)

[ T ] to understand, esp. something difficult:

It was hard to grasp what the professor was getting at.

graspnoun [ U ]

us /ɡræsp/

grasp noun [ U ] (HOLD)

power to achieve or control something:

A full partnership at last seemed to be within her grasp.

(Definition of “grasp” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)