Grasp: Definition, Synonyms and Usage

Grasp: Definition, Synonyms and Usage

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In this post, you’ll learn what ‘grasp’ means and how to use it in the context.

Grasp definition as a verb

As a verb, ‘grasp’ has two major definitions: ‘take’ or ‘understand’. Let’s talk about both in detail.

1. Grasp (v) – to take something quickly and hold firmly.

For instance, ‘Rosie suddenly grasped my hand’.

The synonyms of ‘grasp’ are grip, clutch, clasp.

‘Grasp’ is often used with ‘opportunity’:

– When I lived in Boston, I grasped every opportunity to practice my English in real conversations.

2. Grasp (v) – to understand something, especially something difficult.

grasp definition

Here are examples:

  • I think I managed to grasp the main points of the lecture (=to understand the essence of the lecture).
  • What they fail to grasp is that the tools, and the technologies, and the techniques, and the business models have been completely adopted by the Chinese tech companies.
  • I really liked how you added those stories, because it helped me grasp the concepts faster.
Grasp the nettle: definition

To grasp the nettle means to act boldly.

Here are examples of ‘grasp the nettle’ in the context:

  • Some people grasp the nettle and test their mettle (ability and determination when competing or doing something difficult).
  • I think we should grasp the nettle and establish clear duties under the general company law for ordinary executives operating in our larger companies.
Grasp as a noun

As a noun ‘grasp’ has similar to its verb meanings:
1. A firm hold or grip – The child slipped from her grasp
2. Understanding – He has a good grasp (=understanding) of geopolitical issues.

There’s also a third meaning of grasp as a noun. It means the ability to get, achieve, or keep something.

Here are some examples:

  • The presidency at last looked within her grasp (= looked possible that she might become president).
  • Why is success always beyond my grasp? (= impossible to get)
  • The gold medal slipped from his grasp (= he was unable to get it) in the last moments of the race.
  • I sometimes think that he’s losing his grasp on reality (= his ability to judge what is real and what is not).
  • They are losing their grasp on who they are. (=understanding)
  • I need to summarize every paragraph to make sure that I get a clear grasp of the context. (= understanding)

Now it’s your turn!

Once you are done, use any of the ‘grasp’ meanings in your own sentence (with any definitions you like) and share it in the comments!

Here are some questions that might help:

  • What do you grasp often?
  • What’s hard for you to grasp?
  • What are the things within your grasp?
  • What is easy for you to grasp?

You can find more words and vocabulary quizzes here

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Additional resources for ‘grasp’:

Grasp definition by Merriam Webster Dictionary

Grasp definition by Cambridge dictionary

Grasp examples of usage in Youngish

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