- graple (obsolete)
From Middle English *grapplen (“to seize, lay hold of”), from Old English *græpplian (“to seize”) (compare Old English ġegræppian (“to seize”)), from Proto-Germanic *graipilōną, *grabbalōną (“to seize”), from Proto-Indo-European *ghreb(h)-, *ghrab(h)- (“to take, seize, rake”), equivalent to grab + -le. Cognate with Dutch grabbelen (“to grope, scramble, scrabble”), German grabbeln (“to rummage, grope about”) and grapsen, grapschen (“to seize, grasp, grabble”). Influenced in some senses by grapple (“tool with claws or hooks”, noun) (see below). See further at grasp.
- (transitive) To seize something and hold it firmly.
- (transitive, figuratively) Normally used with with: to ponder and intensely evaluate a problem.
to grapple with one's conscience
- (transitive) To fasten, as with a grapple; to fix; to join indissolubly.
- The gallies were grappled to the Centurion.
- Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel.
- (intransitive) To use a grapple.
- (intransitive) To wrestle or tussle.
From Middle English *grapple, *graple, from Old French grappil (“a ship's grapple”) (compare Old French grappin (“hook”)), from Old French grape, grappe, crape (“hook”), of Germanic origin, from Old Frankish *krappō (“hook”), from Proto-Germanic *krappô, *krappą (“hook”), from Proto-Indo-European *grep- (“hook”), *gremb- (“crooked, uneven”), from Proto-Indo-European *ger- (“to turn, bend, twist”). See further at grape.
- A tool with claws or hooks which is used to catch or hold something.
- A close hand-to-hand struggle.
- (uncountable) The act of grappling.