grab

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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.
See also: grab, of

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.
See also: and, grab

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!
See also: bull, grab, horn

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!
See also: bull, grab, horn

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!
See also: grab, ray

grab bag

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.
See also: bag, grab

*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 chair

 and grab a seat
Fig. to quickly sit down in a seat. Grab a chair and join the group!
See also: chair, grab

grab at someone or something

 and 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.
See also: grab, on

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.
See also: away, grab

grab someone's attention

 and 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.
See also: attention, grab

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?
See also: does, grab, how

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.
See also: grab, make

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.
See also: grab, up

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.
See also: grab, up

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.
See also: grab, throat

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.
See also: bag, grab

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.
See also: grab, up

grab bag

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]
See also: bag, grab

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]
See also: does, grab, how

third rail

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.
See also: rail, third

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]
See also: grab, up

bite

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.
See also: bench, grab

How does that grab you?

interrog. What do you think of that? Looks good, okay? How does that grab you?
See also: does, grab, how

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.
See also: grab, up

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.
References in periodicals archive ?
Government intervention is badly needed to address the serious security problem of land grabbing in order to make it a thing of the past.
It is possible that garden grabbing may be more strictly regulated in future, as ministers have announced that they will be undertaking a review of the powers available to local planning authorities to resist the practice.
Obviously, some things are beyond the pale of acceptable workplace culture; physical assaults, such as testicle grabbing, would fit that category.
But Odom grabbed his own miss and went to the foul line and Denver's Voshon Lenard ended up grabbing his Achilles tendon on a play that Bryant turned into a dunk.
Always grabbing headlines, always finding our hot buttons.
Salinas called out to his partner Maria Pena that Martinez had a big knife and was grabbing his gun.
Salinas called out to his partner, Maria Pena, that Martinez had a big knife and was grabbing his gun.
In the first quarter, O'Neal attempted just four shots, making one, while grabbing one rebound.
Barnes, after losing his starting job last week, came to the Bruins' rescue Saturday night, scoring 16 points - including a critical basket and three free throws in the final minute - and grabbing a team-leading ten rebounds in a 65-60 victory over UC Irvine before 6,974 at Pauley Pavilion.
The spirit of her granddaughter coming through again loud and clear, grabbing everyone's heart and refusing to let go.