To grasp is to get a hold of something, literally or figuratively. Grasp the grammar textbook with both hands and then read it to grasp the rules of the English language.

It makes sense that the word grasp means understanding a concept since you are "getting a hold of an idea" just as you would grasp something tangible to hold. Grasp is good for when you're talking about comprehending the scale of something, or the full picture of a multi-faceted problem or idea. You might know that there is going to be a heat wave, but you may not grasp the idea of its relationship to global warming.

Definitions of grasp
  1. verb
    hold firmly
    synonyms: hold on
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    latch on
    take hold of or attach to
    cling, hang
    hold on tightly or tenaciously
    hold firmly and tightly
    bosom, embrace, hug, squeeze
    squeeze (someone) tightly in your arms, usually with fondness
    type of:
    hold, take hold
    have or hold in one's hands or grip
  2. verb
    get the meaning of something
    synonyms: apprehend, compass, comprehend, dig, get the picture, grok, savvy
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    catch on, cotton on, get it, get onto, get wise, latch on, tumble, twig
    understand, usually after some initial difficulty
    know or grasp by intuition or feeling
    digest, process
    arrange and integrate in the mind
    type of:
    know and comprehend the nature or meaning of
  3. noun
    understanding of the nature or meaning or quality or magnitude of something
    “he has a good grasp of accounting practices”
    synonyms: appreciation, hold
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    a natural appreciation or ability
    type of:
    apprehension, discernment, savvy, understanding
    the cognitive condition of someone who understands
  4. noun
    an intellectual hold or understanding
    “a terrible power had her in its grasp
    synonyms: grip
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    something that acts like a tentacle in its ability to grasp and hold
    type of:
    a power to affect persons or events especially power based on prestige etc
  5. noun
    the limit of capability
    synonyms: compass, range, reach
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    ken, sight
    the range of vision
    type of:
    capability, capableness, potentiality
    an aptitude that may be developed
  6. noun
    the act of grasping
    synonyms: clasp, clench, clutch, clutches, grip, hold
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    choke hold, chokehold
    a restraining hold; someone loops the arm around the neck of another person in a tight grip, usually from behind
    embrace, embracement, embracing
    the act of clasping another person in the arms (as in greeting or affection)
    wrestling hold
    a hold used in the sport of wrestling
    cuddle, nestle, snuggle
    a close and affectionate (and often prolonged) embrace
    clinch, hug, squeeze
    a tight or amorous embrace
    bear hug
    a wrestling hold with arms locked tightly around the opponent
    any of several wrestling holds in which an arm is passed under the opponent's arm from behind and the hand exerts pressure on the back of the neck
    Japanese stranglehold
    a wrestling hold in which the opponent's arms are crossed in front of his own neck to exert pressure on his windpipe
    any wrestling hold in which some part of the opponent's body is twisted or pressured
    scissor grip, scissor hold, scissors, scissors grip, scissors hold
    a wrestling hold in which you wrap your legs around the opponents body or head and put your feet together and squeeze
    a wrestling hold in which the arms are pressed against the opponent's windpipe
    a wrestling hold in which the toe is held and the leg is twisted against the joints
    type of:
    grasping, prehension, seizing, taking hold
    the act of gripping something firmly with the hands (or the tentacles)
Word Family

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