Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
grab (a)hold of (someone)
1. Literally, to grab and hold onto someone with one's hands. The police officer grabbed hold of the suspect before he could run away. My sister grabbed ahold of me at our mother's funeral to keep herself from breaking down in tears.
2. To gain total control, influence, or power over someone. Once major corporations grab hold of a politician, it's easy to predict where his political interests will lie. Addiction seems to have completely grabbed ahold of John.
3. To capture someone's attention, interest, or imagination. Her latest novel grabbed hold of me and didn't let go until I'd read it cover to cover.
grab and go
(used before a noun; sometimes hyphenated) Characterized by being very quick and easy to obtain, access, and use. Increasingly busy lifestyles have led to an explosion in the popularity of grab and go meals and snacks. The purpose of our app is to provide a new grab-and-go resource for students and educators alike.
grab the bull by its horns
To approach, confront, or deal with a problem or difficult situation directly and with clear, confident action. I grabbed the bull by its horns and confronted my manager about the blatant sexism in the office. I've been complaining about being out of work for too long—it's time to grab the bull by its horns and go find a job!
grab the bull by the horns
To approach, confront, or deal with a problem or difficult situation directly and with clear, confident action. I grabbed the bull by the horns and confronted my manager about the blatant sexism in the office. I've been complaining about being out of work for too long—it's time to grab the bull by the horns and go find a job!
grab some rays
To spend some time in the sun (often with goal of tanning). We're supposed to have nice weather this afternoon, so why don't we go to the beach and grab some rays? I'm really glad I grabbed some rays on vacation—I was so pale before!
1. A container or bag filled with various things, usually free gifts or promotional items. Primarily heard in US, Australia. For their grand opening event, the new cosmetics store gave customers a grab bag filled with coupons and free samples of their products.
2. By extension, anything that represents a variety of differing or unrelated items. My resume has a real grab bag of experience on it. I hope they can see how it applies to the position I applied for.
*bite (to eat)
to get something to eat; to get food that can be eaten quickly. (*Typically: get ~; grab ~; have~.) I need a few minutes to grab a bite to eat. Bob often tries to get a bite between meetings.
grab a chairand grab a seat
Fig. to quickly sit down in a seat. Grab a chair and join the group!
grab at someone or somethingand grab for someone or something
to grasp quickly at someone or something; to try to seize someone or something. He grabbed at me, but I got away unscathed. I grabbed at the rope, but missed. The teacher grabbed for the little boy and held him.
See also: grab
grab on (to someone or something)
to grasp someone or something; to hold onto someone or something. Here, grab onto this rope! Grab on and hold tight.
grab someone or something away (from someone or something)
to snatch someone or something away from someone or something. Harry's aunt grabbed the dirty candy away from him before he got it in his mouth. I grabbed away the meat from the dog.
grab someone's attentionand get someone's attention; grip someone's attention
Fig. to draw or attract someone's attention. The bright colors on the poster are there to grab your attention. The scary movie gripped my attention.
How does that grab you?
Inf. What do you think of that? (Pronounced more like HowZAT grab ya?.) Looks good, okay? How does that grab you? How does that grab you? Enough salt?
make a grab at someone or something
to grasp at someone or something. Don made a grab at Betsy, but she eluded him. Kelly made a grab at the ball, but it went on past her.
up for grabs
1. Fig. available for anyone; not yet claimed. The election is up for grabs. Everything is still very chancy. I don't know who will get the promotion. It's up for grabs.
2. Fig. in total chaos. This is a madhouse. The whole place is up for grabs. When the market crashed, the whole office was up for grabs.
up for grabs
available to anyone who wants to compete for it The state's senate seat will be up for grabs in the next election.
grab you by the throat
to completely hold your attention or emotions Jealousy grabbed him by the throat and destroyed his marriage.
Usage notes: also used in the forms take you by the throat or hold you by the throat: This is an adventure that takes you by the throat and doesn't let you go until the end of the film.
a grab bag(American & Australian)
a mixture of different types of things (often + of ) Airlines are offering a grab bag of discounts, air miles and car rentals to attract customers.
up for grabs(informal)
if something is up for grabs, it is available to anyone who wants to compete for it We've got $1000 up for grabs in our new quiz. All you have to do is call this number.
A miscellaneous collection, as in The meeting amounted to a grab bag of petty complaints. This term alludes to a container offered at a party or fair, where one dips in for a party favor or prize without knowing what one will get. [Mid-1800s]
how does that grab you
What do you think of that? For example, They want to put his name at the top of the masthead-how does that grab you? This expression employs the verb grab in the sense of "excite one's interest or attention." [Slang; early 1900s]
Something that is dangerous to tamper with, as in Anything concerning veterans is a political third rail. This term alludes to the rail that supplies the high voltage powering an electric train, so called since 1918. On the other hand, grab hold of the third rail means "become energized." Both shifts from the original meaning date from the late 1900s.
up for grabs
Available to anyone, as in Now that he's resigned, his job is up for grabs. This term alludes to something being thrown in the air for anyone to grasp or catch. [Colloquial; 1920s]
1. in. to accept a deception; to fall for something; to respond to a come-on. We put up a sign advertising free pop, but nobody bit.
2. in. [for someone or something] to be bad or threatening. My dad bites, but don’t worry, he’s in a good mood.
3. in. to be irritating. (More severe than to suck, as in It sucks.) This party bites. Sko.
4. tv. to copy something without permission; to steal something. Sue bit a copy of my term paper, and I almost got in trouble.
grab some bench
tv. go to the bench, during a game. The coach told Freddy to go grab some bench.
How does that grab you?
interrog. What do you think of that? Looks good, okay? How does that grab you?
up for grabs
1. mod. available for anyone; not yet claimed. I don’t know who will get it. It’s up for grabs.
2. mod. in total chaos. When the market crashed, the whole office was up for grabs.
grab/take the bull by the horns
To deal with a problem directly and resolutely.
bite/hold (one's) tongue
To be or keep silent.