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]
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