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Etymology 1[edit]

From Old English grippan, from a Proto-Germanic *gripjaną (compare Old High German gripfen); compare the related Old English grīpan, whence English gripe. See also grope.


grip ‎(third-person singular simple present grips, present participle gripping, simple past and past participle gripped)

  1. (transitive) To take hold of, particularly with the hand.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 19, The China Governess[1]:
      When Timothy and Julia hurried up the staircase to the bedroom floor, where a considerable commotion was taking place, Tim took Barry Leach with him. He had him gripped firmly by the arm, since he felt it was not safe to let him loose, and he had no immediate idea what to do with him.
    That suitcase is heavy, so grip the handle firmly.
    The glue will begin to grip within five minutes.
    After a few slips, the tires gripped the pavement.
  2. (transitive) To help or assist, particularly in an emotional sense.
    • 1898, J. Meade Falkner, Moonfleet Chapter 4
      By and by fumes of brandy began to fill the air, and climb to where I lay, overcoming the mouldy smell of decayed wood and the dampness of the green walls. It may have been that these fumes mounted to my head, and gave me courage not my own, but so it was that I lost something of the stifling fear that had gripped me, and could listen with more ease to what was going forward
    He grips me.
  3. (intransitive) To do something with another that makes you happy/gives you relief.
    Let’s grip (get a coffee, hang, take a break, see a movie, etc.)
  4. To trench; to drain.

Etymology 2[edit]

An amalgam of Old English gripe ‎(grasp, hold) (cognate with German Griff) and Old English gripa ‎(handful) (cognate with Swedish grepp).


grip ‎(plural grips)

  1. A hold or way of holding, particularly with the hand.
    It's good to have a firm grip when shaking hands.
    The ball will move differently depending on the grip used when throwing it.
  2. A handle or other place to grip.
    the grip of a sword
    There are several good grips on the northern face of this rock.
  3. (computing, graphical user interface) A visual component on a window etc. enabling it to be resized and/or moved.
  4. (film production) A person responsible for handling equipment on the set.
  5. A channel cut through a grass verge (especially for the purpose of draining water away from the highway).
  6. (chiefly Southern California slang) A lot of something.
    That is a grip of cheese.
  7. Archaic spelling of grippe: Influenza, flu.
    She has the grip.
  8. (archaic) A small travelling-bag or gripsack.
  9. An apparatus attached to a car for clutching a traction cable.
  10. Assistance; help or encouragement.
    He gave me a grip.
  11. A helpful, interesting, admirable, or inspiring person.
    You're a real grip.
  12. (slang) As much as one can hold in a hand; a handful.
    I need to get a grip of nails for my project.
  13. (figuratively) A tenacious grasp; a holding fast.
    • 2013 July 20, “The attack of the MOOCs”, The Economist, volume 408, number 8845:
      Dotcom mania was slow in coming to higher education, but now it has the venerable industry firmly in its grip. Since the launch early last year of Udacity and Coursera, two Silicon Valley start-ups offering free education through MOOCs, massive open online courses, the ivory towers of academia have been shaken to their foundations.
    in the grip of a blackmailer
  14. A device for grasping or holding fast to something.
See also[edit]
Related terms[edit]