Definition of grip in English:

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Pronunciation: /ɡrɪp/

verb (grips, gripping, gripped)

[with object]
1Take and keep a firm hold of; grasp tightly: his knuckles were white as he gripped the steering wheel
More example sentences
  • Her shoulders were straight and she was gripping her purse rather tightly, looking extremely strained.
  • He sat straight as his hands gripped the steering wheel tightly.
  • He grabbed her wrists and gripped them tightly.
grasp, clutch, hold, clasp, grasp/take/lay hold of, latch on to, grab, seize, clench, cling to, catch, catch at, get one's hands on, pluck;
squeeze, press
archaic gripe
1.1 [no object] Maintain a firm contact, especially by friction: a sole that really grips well on wet rock
More example sentences
  • It grips very well, making driving around those twisty B-roads a real pleasure.
  • Combine that with little weight over the wheels, tyres that need to warm up before they grip properly and a wet road and things can get very - er - interesting.
  • Tyres fail to grip when brakes are applied and contact with the road surface is poor.
2(Of an emotion or situation) have a strong or adverse effect on: she was gripped by a feeling of excitement the country was gripped by recession
More example sentences
  • Sudden fear gripped her and almost overwhelmed the suffering her body was experiencing, but wonder and joy quickly replaced this.
  • A sense of sorrow and outrage has gripped this multiracial community.
  • Here, Ben details the hysteria and fear gripping Hong Kong, a small taste of which spread to Southampton's Chinese community this week.
afflict, affect, take over, beset, rack, torment, convulse
2.1Firmly hold the attention or interest of: we were gripped by the drama
More example sentences
  • This is a compelling, human story that has really gripped the attention of a lot of people.
  • Their exploits gripped the country's attention and were written about in countless articles and books.
  • But it is this November's presidential election which will grip global attention as never before.
engross, enthral, entrance, absorb, rivet, spellbind, hold spellbound, bewitch, fascinate, hold, catch, compel, mesmerize, arrest, ensnare, enrapture;
interest, intrigue, engage, distract, divert, entertain, amuse
engrossing, enthralling, entrancing, absorbing, riveting, captivating, spellbinding, bewitching, fascinating, compulsive, addictive, compelling, mesmerizing, arresting;
thrilling, exciting, action-packed, dramatic, stimulating;
interesting, engaging, distracting, diverting, entertaining, amusing
informal unputdownable


1 [in singular] A firm hold; a tight grasp: his arm was held in a vice-like grip figurative the icy grip of winter
More example sentences
  • Suddenly his wrist was caught in a vice-like grip, tight and painful.
  • Winter is keeping a firm grip on the South Island as snow isolates Dunedin for the second time in a week and restricts travel around the lower part of the country.
  • Vicki turned to go and suddenly felt a tight grip on her arm.
grasp, hold, clutch, clasp, clench
archaic gripe
handshake, hand grip, hand clasp
1.1A manner of holding something: I’ve changed my grip and my backswing
More example sentences
  • Hinge the club slightly in the backswing, then allow the grip to serve as a reminder to hold that position past impact.
  • A weak grip causes the clubface to open during the backswing and remain open in the downswing.
  • The problem was not pain but the peculiar feeling of an unfamiliar grip, especially at the top of the backswing.
1.2 [mass noun] The ability of something, especially a wheel or shoe, to maintain a firm contact with a surface: these shoes have got no grip
More example sentences
  • The wheels rarely scrabble for grip even on the most treacherous surfaces.
  • It also allows for more pattern contact to improve uphill grip without reducing glide.
  • Some of my leather shoes had absolutely no grip.
traction, purchase, friction, adhesion, resistance
2 [in singular] Effective control over something: he had to take a grip on his nerves
More example sentences
  • They had another fine opportunity to take an early lead shortly afterwards as the home side failed to take a grip on the match.
  • My nutritionist advised that in order to be in optimum health for conceiving a baby, I must take a grip on my addiction.
  • Can there be a greater temptation for politicians than to have control of an asset that may ensure they keep a grip on power?
control, power, mastery, hold, stranglehold, clutches, domination, dominion, command, influence, possession;
rule, tyranny, evil embrace
2.1An understanding of something: you’ve got a good grip on what’s going on
More example sentences
  • So it's essential to have a grip, a clear understanding, of what your values and priorities are.
  • They have a reasonably good grip on the philosophy of science - far better than my own, anyway.
  • In your pathetic grip on socializing and pitiful understanding of how to present yourself, you will always be five steps behind everyone else.
understanding of, comprehension of, perception of, awareness of, grasp of, apprehension of, conception of, realization of, knowledge of, cognizance of, ken of, mastery of, command of;
insight into, familiarity with
3A part or attachment by which something is held in the hand: handlebar grips
More example sentences
  • The little guy managed to sidestep the front of the bike but got winged in the gut by one of the handlebar grips.
  • In keeping with the gun's modular component design, other types of buttstocks and grips can he attached if desired.
  • It had wide, angular handle bars; edgy, rubber hand grips; and fat tires with treads!
3.1British A hairgrip.
Example sentences
  • Conceal the grips by pushing them right underneath the roll.
  • Volumes of spidery dressed hair piled up around a seashell grip.
  • She was pulling grips out of her hair and sticking them between her lips, biting them with her bright white teeth.
4A travelling bag: a grip crammed with new clothes
More example sentences
  • He has with him a grip containing clothing and papers.
  • A policeman captured a burglar yesterday afternoon just in time to prevent his escaping with a grip containing part of the $1,000 haul made at a robbery on Saturday.
  • He brought along a grip filled with a suit of extra clothing.
travelling bag, bag, holdall, overnight bag, overnighter, flight bag, kitbag, Gladstone bag, valise, portmanteau
5A stagehand in a theatre.
Example sentences
  • I am a grip and lighting designer working in the DC area.
  • U.S. grips may belong to the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employes.
stagehand, theatrical assistant
5.1A member of a camera crew responsible for moving and setting up equipment.
Example sentences
  • He is brushing shoulders with some of Britain's best-loved actors, working as a camera grip with ITV Yorkshire.
  • The biggest special effect in that film was accomplished by two grips pushing a 2x4 against a plywood door to make it bow in.
  • Damian gave up surfing and fine art to study film making in New York City, where he worked as a grip for several years.



come (or get) to grips with

Engage in combat with: British forces never came to grips with the enemy
More example sentences
  • Only then could the elite of Britain's armed forces really get to grips with the enemy.
  • Irrespective of the nature and scope of our operations, we must prepare to fight Germany by actually coming to grips with and defeating her ground forces and definitely breaking her will to combat.
1.1Begin to deal with or understand: a real tough problem to come to grips with
More example sentences
  • Meanwhile, at home Australians began coming to grips with their new place in the post-war world.
  • A partially-disabled legal expert has started a new business to help firms get to grips with tough new laws.
  • Last week I spent much of my Easter break trying to get to grips with all the financial paperwork that I've failed to deal with recently.
deal with, cope with, handle, grasp, grasp the nettle of;
tackle, undertake, take on, grapple with, contend with, close with;
face, face up to, meet head on, confront, encounter;
take the bit between one's teeth

get a grip

[usually in imperative] informal Keep or recover one’s self-control: get a grip, guys!
More example sentences
  • Before you talk about ghost towns, you guys need to get a grip.
  • Then I thought, this guy is a heavyweight cultural icon, better get a grip and make an effort to take it seriously.
  • But he got a grip in time for the post-match photos.

in the grip of

Dominated or affected by something undesirable or adverse: Britain was in the grip of a crime wave
More example sentences
  • Is it any wonder the country is in the grip of so much appeasement, irrationality and ignorance?
  • When she returned New Zealand was in the grip of the Depression of the thirties with high unemployment.
  • Italy has been in the grip of a cold spell for several days, and shortly after the fire began, snow began falling.

lose one's grip

Become unable to understand or control one’s situation: an elderly person who seems to be losing his grip
More example sentences
  • I was feeling really unwell, like everything was starting to spin out of control and I was losing my grip…
  • Yes, this can be seen in our society, where even politicians lose their grip and fail to control their rage.
  • She could feel herself losing her grip on the situation.



Pronunciation: /ˈɡrɪpə/
Example sentences
  • Miss Burns said they could provide garbage grippers, bags and high-visibility bibs to anyone interested in litter picking.
  • Throughout this process, the robots constantly update each other about payload forces and motions as felt at their respective grippers.
  • But he notes that it would be fairly easy to add modules with grippers, cameras, or other specialized equipment.


Old English grippa (verb), gripe 'grasp, clutch' (noun), gripa 'handful, sheath'; related to gripe.

Words that rhyme with grip

blip, chip, clip, dip, drip, equip, flip, gyp, hip, kip, lip, nip, outstrip, pip, quip, rip, scrip, ship, sip, skip, slip, snip, strip, tip, toodle-pip, trip, whip, yip, zip

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: grip

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