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Related to grasping: Grasping at straws

grasp at a straw

To make a desperate attempt to salvage a bad situation. A: "But what about all those times I took the trash out when you hadn't even asked me to?" B: "That has nothing to do with why you're in trouble now, so stop grasping at a straw."
See also: grasp, straw

grasp at straws

To make a desperate attempt to salvage a bad situation. A: "But what about all those times I took the trash out when you hadn't even asked me to?" B: "That has nothing to do with why you're in trouble now, so stop grasping at straws."
See also: grasp, straw

grasp in the dark

To seek out a solution, meaning, or sense of purpose in a blind, aimless, or uncertain manner. Often used in the progressive tense. We've been grasping in the dark for a way to pay our mortgage, but I just don't see how we'll be able to afford it anymore. My recent breakup with Janice has left me grasping in the dark.
See also: dark, grasp

grasp the bull by its/the horns

To approach, confront, or deal with a problem or difficult situation directly and with clear, confident action. I grasped 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 grasp the bull by the horns and go find a job!
See also: bull, by, grasp, horn
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

grasping at straws

Fig. to depend on something that is useless; to make a futile attempt at something. John couldn't answer the teacher's question. He was just grasping at straws. There I was, grasping at straws, with no one to help me.
See also: grasping, straw
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

grasp at straws

Also, clutch at straws. Make a desperate attempt at saving oneself. For example, He had lost the argument, but he kept grasping at straws, naming numerous previous cases that had little to do with this one . This metaphoric expression alludes to a drowning person trying to save himself by grabbing at flimsy reeds. First recorded in 1534, the term was used figuratively by the late 1600s.
See also: grasp, straw
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
The control program for virtual grasping experiments was implemented using Matlab 2012b and Simulink, Simulink 3D Animation, and Real Time Windows Target toolboxes.
A typical task consisted of grasping the above objects.
In a 2009 paper published in the journal Psychological Science, Washington University researcher Nicole Speer and her colleagues used fMRI to examine hemoglobin flow when people read fiction and discovered that the "readers mentally simulate each new situation encountered in a narrative." Specifically when people read about a character grasping and holding an object, the area of the reader's brain associated with those actions draws more blood.
Current commercially available functional electrical stimulation (FES) systems such as the NESS H200 (Bioness Inc; Valencia, California) are secured to the forearm and can generate hand opening and closing but have limited application for fine manipulation tasks, specifically the grasping of small or circular-type objects.
Bernoulli grippers (or air flow grippers) are typical non-contact grasping devices [Monkman, 2007].
Chogye Trichen Rinpoche claims that all the teachings of the Sakya and of the Lamdre, as well as those of the Nyingma and Kagyu, the Kadam and Gelug schools are contained in the four lines of Gyaltsen's spiritual song dealing with attachment to this life, cyclic existence, pursuit of one's narrow purpose and the crippling phenomenon of grasping. The claim sounds a bit bombastic, nevertheless, it is true in essence.
This is also found to be essentially true of other aspects of motor development; reaching, grasping, rolling over, smiling and so forth.
Therefore, although basic, grasping proportionality is, evidently, a subtle moment in understanding.
If you're having difficulty grasping this, you're not alone; many facility operators are insufficiently aware of the details of this product.
The movements are nearly identical to those of an infant practicing depth perception while reaching for and grasping its first cookie.
Grasping at Independence: Debt, Male Authority, and Mineral Rights in Appalachian Kentucky, 1850-1915.
An attempt to remove the object with grasping forceps only tended to push it posteriorly.
Grasping the door handle with one hand and the steering wheel with the other, Finehout was dragged with his legs dangling beneath the truck.
The Clinton administration floundered in responding to financial crises without ever grasping this critical truth.
In fact, although it looks as though the tiny hand is grasping the hand of the surgeon, the fetus was anesthetised at the time.