grasp - definition and synonyms

noun [singular] 

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  1. 1
    the ability to understand something
    have/get a grasp of something:

    The government has no grasp of their suffering.

    a good/firm/poor grasp of something:

    She has a good grasp of English.

    be beyond someone’s grasp (=be impossible for someone to understand):

    The tasks were beyond the intellectual grasp of many pupils.

  2. 2
    the ability to achieve something
    within/in someone’s grasp:

    Victory was now within their grasp.

    beyond/out of someone’s grasp:

    Peace was not completely beyond his grasp.

    slip from someone’s grasp (=become impossible for someone to achieve):

    Just when the game seemed to be slipping from their grasp, they scored a vital goal.

  3. 3
    a very tight hold of someone or something

    Suddenly he broke free from her grasp.

  4. 4
    power that someone has over someone or something

    He kept the reins of power firmly in his grasp.