from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. An iron shaft with claws at one end, usually thrown by a rope and used for grasping and holding, especially one for drawing and holding an enemy ship alongside. Also called grapnel, grappling, grappling hook, grappling iron.
- n. Nautical See grapnel.
- n. The act of grappling.
- n. A struggle or contest in which the participants attempt to clutch or grip each other.
- n. A struggle for superiority or dominance.
- transitive v. To seize and hold, as with a grapple.
- transitive v. To seize firmly, as with the hands.
- intransitive v. To hold onto something with or as if with a grapple.
- intransitive v. To use a grapple or similar device, as for dragging.
- intransitive v. To struggle, in or as if in wrestling: grappled with their consciences; grapple with the political realities of our time.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- v. To seize something and hold it firmly.
- v. to ponder and intensely evaluate a problem; normally used with "with".
- v. To use a grapple.
- v. To wrestle or tussle.
- n. A device consisting of iron claws, attached to the end of a rope, used for grasping and holding an enemy ship prior to boarding; a grapnel or grappling iron.
- n. The act of grappling.
- n. A close hand-to-hand struggle.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- transitive v. To seize; to lay fast hold of; to attack at close quarters: as, to grapple an antagonist.
- transitive v. To fasten, as with a grapple; to fix; to join indissolubly.
- intransitive v. To use a grapple; to contend in close fight; to attach one's self as if by a grapple, as in wrestling; to close; to seize one another.
- n. A seizing or seizure; close hug in contest; the wrestler's hold.
- n. An instrument, usually with hinged claws, for seizing and holding fast to an object; a grab.
- n. A grappling iron.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A hook or an iron instrument by which one thing, as a ship, fastens on another; a grapnel.
- n. A clasping-hook for grasping a beam, used in suspending the blocks or hoisting apparatus of a hay-fork.
- n. Large tongs with sharp points used for various purposes, as for lifting blocks of ice.
- n. The clasp of a buckle.
- n. A spring fish-hook.
- n. A seizing or gripping; especially, a close hold in wrestling, and hence in any other contest; a close fight or encounter.
- To seize or grasp with a grapple; lay fast hold on with mechanical appliances or with the hands: as, to grapple an antagonist.
- Synonyms To gripe, grasp, catch, clutch, clasp.
- To fasten on another, or on each other, as ships, by some mechanical means, as grappling-irons; seize another, or each other, in a close grip, as in wrestling; clinch: often used figuratively.
- n. plural Small iron dogs, joined by a short chain, which are driven into logs near the end when skidding on mountains, so that several logs may be skidded by one horse at the same time. Also called chain-grapples, coupling-grab.
- n. See skidding-tongs.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a dredging bucket with hinges like the shell of a clam
- v. come to terms with
- n. the act of engaging in close hand-to-hand combat
- v. to grip or seize, as in a wrestling match
- n. a tool consisting of several hooks for grasping and holding; often thrown with a rope
Middle English grapel, from Old French grapil, diminutive of grape, hook; see grape.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English *grapplen (“to seize, lay hold of”), from Old English *græpplian (“to seize”) (compare Old English ġegræppian ("to seize")), from Proto-Germanic *graipilōnan, *grabbalōnan (“to seize”), from Proto-Indo-European *ghreb(h)-, *ghrab(h)- (“to take, seize, rake”). Cognate with Dutch grabbelen ("to grope, scramble, scrabble"), German grabbeln ("to rummage, grope about"), German grapsen, grapschen ("to seize, grasp, grabble"). Influenced in some senses by grapple ("hook", noun) (see below). More at grasp. (Wiktionary)
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 *krappo (“hook”), from Proto-Germanic *krappô, *krappan (“hook”), from Proto-Indo-European *grep- (“hook”), *gremb- (“crooked, uneven”), from Proto-Indo-European *ger- (“to turn, bend, twist”). More at grape. (Wiktionary)