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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English gripel, from Old English gripol, gripul (able to grasp much; capacious), from Proto-Germanic *gripulaz (grasping, rapacious), equivalent to grip +‎ -le.

Alternative forms[edit]


gripple (comparative more gripple, superlative most gripple)

  1. (Britain dialectal, Northern England, Scotland) Griping; tenacious; gripping.
  2. (Britain dialectal, Northern England, Scotland) Grasping; greedy; snatchy; mean; niggardly; avaricious, covetous.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Spenser to this entry?)
    • Bishop Joseph Hall
      It is easy to observe, that none are so gripple and hard fisted, as the childless []
  3. (Britain dialectal, Scotland) Sprained.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English gryppel, from Old English *gripel, *grēpel, diminutive of Old English grep, grēpe (furrow, ditch, drain), equivalent to grip +‎ -le (diminutive suffix). Cognate with German Low German Grüppel (ditch).


gripple (plural gripples)

  1. A ditch; a drain.

Etymology 3[edit]

From grip +‎ -le.


gripple (plural gripples)

  1. (obsolete, rare) A hook.
  2. (obsolete, rare) A grasp; a grip.
    • 1596, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, V.2:
      Ne ever Artegall his griple strong / For any thing wold slacke, but still upon him hong.

Etymology 4[edit]

From grip +‎ -le (frequentative suffix).


gripple (third-person singular simple present gripples, present participle grippling, simple past and past participle grippled)

  1. (transitive, rare) To grasp.

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for gripple in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)