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Take vs Seize vs Grasp vs Clutch vs Snatch vs Grab

Takeseizegraspclutchsnatchgrab are comparable when they mean to get hold of by or as if by reaching out the arm or hand.

Take is not only the most general but also the only colorless term in this group. In ordinary use, especially with reference to physical things, it may imply nothing more than a movement of the hand to get hold of something or it may imply, with reference not only to physical but to immaterial or intangible things, numerous and often difficult operations by means of which one gets possession of or control over something.

Between these two extremes take may imply, in innumerable idiomatic applications, a very wide range of methods of getting hold of something or possessing it in some way; thus, one takes a prize by winning it in a competition; one takes a cottage by renting it; one takes the temperature of a room by observing the thermometer.

Seize usually suggests a sudden and forcible taking or getting hold of, and it therefore is interchangeable with take only when emphasis is placed upon these qualities. In extended use, especially when the thing seized or the thing seizing is something immaterial or intangible, the term usually suggests a catching of something fleeting or elusive or the capture of something by force and, usually, surprise or the ready understanding of something difficult to apprehend or analyze.

Grasp basically implies a laying hold of with the hands, teeth, or claws so as to hold firmly. In extended use the term implies a comparable ability to comprehend fully or adequately something difficult to comprehend either inherently or by reason of circumstances.

Clutch in its basic use implies more haste, more avidity, more urgency, and often less success in getting hold of the thing desired than grasp .

Only when success is clearly indicated is a tight hold or a clenching suggested. In extended use the term usually suggests a mental or emotional grasping at or seizing that is comparable to a physical clutching.

Snatch carries the strongest implication of a sudden, hurried movement, but it seldom carries as strong a suggestion of the use of force as does its closest synonym, seize ; rather, it often implies stealth or promptness in rescuing or rudeness or roughness.

Consequently in extended use one snatches only what one can get by chance, surreptitiously, or by prompt action.

Grab commonly implies more rudeness or roughness than snatch, and it also usually implies as much force or violence as seize ; distinctively it often suggests vulgarity and indifference to the rights of others or to the standards of the community, or a more or less open unscrupulousness in getting what one wants for oneself.