to grasp at

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Grasp \Grasp\, v. i.
   To effect a grasp; to make the motion of grasping; to clutch;
   to struggle; to strive.
   [1913 Webster]

         As one that grasped And tugged for life and was by
         strength subdued.                        --Shak.
   [1913 Webster]

   To grasp at, to catch at; to try to seize; as, Alexander
      grasped at universal empire,
      [1913 Webster]
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