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grasp

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noun [singular] American English pronunciation: grasp /ɡræsp/
  1. 1
    the ability to understand something
    have/get a grasp of something:

    The government has no grasp of the suffering of the poor.

    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.

    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.

    beyond/out of someone's grasp:

    Peace was not completely beyond his grasp.

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