up for grabs


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up for grabs

1. Available to anyone; unclaimed. This last piece of cake is up for grabs—who wants it?
2. In a state of chaos. After the CEO's scandalous behavior was exposed, the whole company was up for grabs.
See also: for, grab, up
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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: for, grab, up
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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: for, grab, up
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.

up for grabs

INFORMAL
COMMON If something is up for grabs, it is available for anyone who is willing or able to compete for it. Thirty-five Senate seats are up for grabs in tomorrow's election. A £10,000 jackpot is still up for grabs over the next seven weeks in our super new numbers game.
See also: for, grab, up
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

up for grabs

available; obtainable. informal
This phrase was originally mid 20th-century US slang, relating especially to a woman who is open to sexual advances.
See also: for, grab, up
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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: for, grab, up
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

up for grabs

Available for taking, implicitly by anyone. This colloquialism became popular, especially in America, from about 1950. The OED cites a Boston Globe sports item: “Right now every position [on the team] is up for grabs.”
See also: for, grab, up
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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