grasp / grasp/ • v. [tr.] seize and hold firmly: she grasped the bottle. ∎ [intr.] (grasp at) try to seize hold of: they grasped at each other with numbed fingers they had grasped at any means to overthrow him. ∎ get mental hold of; comprehend fully: the way in which children could grasp complex ideas. ∎ act decisively to the advantage of (something): we must grasp the opportunities offered.• n. [in sing.] a firm hold or grip: the child slipped from her grasp. ∎ a person's power or capacity to attain something: he knew success was within his grasp. ∎ a person's understanding: meanings that are beyond my grasp his grasp of detail.PHRASES: grasp at straws (or a straw) see straw.DERIVATIVES: grasp·a·ble adj.grasp·er n.