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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Grasp \Grasp\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Grasper; p. pr. & vb. n. Qraspine.] [OE. graspen; prob. akin to LG. grupsen, or to E. grope. Cf. Grab, Grope.] 1. To seize and hold by clasping or embracing with the fingers or arms; to catch to take possession of. [1913 Webster] Thy hand is made to grasp a palmer's staff. --Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. To lay hold of with the mind; to become thoroughly acquainted or conversant with; to comprehend. [1913 Webster]