- An example of grapple is when two kids get into a fight over a ball, with each struggling to get control.
- An example of grapple is when you are struggling with making a difficult decision.
- a device consisting of two or more hinged, movable iron prongs for grasping and moving heavy objects
- a coming to grips; hand-to-hand fight
Origin of grappleOld French grapil: see grapnel
- to use a grapnel
- to struggle in hand-to-hand combat; wrestle
- to struggle or try to cope (with): to grapple with a problem
- a. 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.b. See grapnel.
- Any of various grasping devices having hinged tines or jaws that close around an object or load, used especially in lifting or dragging heavy items.
- The act of grappling.
- a. A struggle or contest in which the participants attempt to wrestle with each other by clutching or gripping.b. A struggle for superiority or dominance.
verbgrap·pled, grap·pling, grap·ples
- To seize and hold with a grapple: grappled the prow of the ship.
- To seize firmly with the hands: “Jules &ellipsis; grappled the backpack chained over the back of Izzy's bike and began scrabbling through it” (Bella Bathurst).
- To hold onto something with a grapple: “The 150-odd ships closed and grappled, initiating the most important naval battle of the Hundred Years' War” (Clifford J. Rogers).
- To use a grapple or similar device, as for dragging.
- a. To wrestle with an opponent by clutching or gripping.b. To struggle or work hard to deal with something: grappled with their consciences; grapple with the political realities of our time.
Origin of grappleMiddle English grapel, from Old French grapil, diminutive of grape, hook; see grape.
(third-person singular simple present grapples, present participle grappling, simple past and past participle grappled)
From Middle English *grapplen (“to seize, lay hold of”), from Old English *græpplian (“to seize”) (compare Old English ġegræppian (“to seize”)), from Proto-Germanic *graipilōną, *grabbalōną (“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.
(countable and uncountable, plural grapples)
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 *krappō (“hook”), from Proto-Germanic *krappô, *krappą (“hook”), from Proto-Indo-European *grep- (“hook”), *gremb- (“crooked, uneven”), from Proto-Indo-European *ger- (“to turn, bend, twist”). More at grape.