See also: GRASP

English edit

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Etymology edit

From Middle English graspen, grapsen, craspen (to grope; feel around), from Old English *grǣpsian, from Proto-West Germanic *graipisōn, from Proto-Germanic *graipisōną, from Proto-Indo-European *gʰrebʰ- (to take, seize, rake), the same ultimate source as grab.

Cognate with German Low German grapsen (to grab; grasp), German grapsen and grapschen, Saterland Frisian Grapse (double handful), Old English grāpian ("to touch, feel, grasp"; > Modern English grope). Compare also Swedish krafsa (to scatch; scabble), Norwegian krafse (to scramble).

Pronunciation edit

Verb edit

grasp (third-person singular simple present grasps, present participle grasping, simple past and past participle grasped)

  1. To grip; to take hold, particularly with the hand.
  2. To understand.
    I have never been able to grasp the concept of infinity.
  3. To take advantage of something, to seize, to jump at a chance.

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Noun edit

grasp (plural grasps)

  1. (sometimes figurative) Grip.
    • 1914, Louis Joseph Vance, chapter III, in Nobody, New York, N.Y.: George H[enry] Doran Company, published 1915, →OCLC:
      Turning back, then, toward the basement staircase, she began to grope her way through blinding darkness, but had taken only a few uncertain steps when, of a sudden, she stopped short and for a little stood like a stricken thing, quite motionless save that she quaked to her very marrow in the grasp of a great and enervating fear.
    • 1980, Robert M. Jones, editor, Walls and Ceilings, Time-Life Books, →ISBN, page 44:
      If a mirror does slip from your grasp, do not attempt to catch it. Just get out of the way.
  2. Understanding.
  3. That which is accessible; that which is within one's reach or ability.
    The goal is within my grasp.

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