Definition of grabble in English:



[no object]archaic
  • 1Feel or search with the hands; grope about.

    • ‘She grabbled the ball off the ground and flung it at his head, causing him to duck.’
    • ‘They deserve to grabble in the dirt and get nothing for it but a dry gut-rumble.’
    • ‘I managed to tread on another rock, which made me wobble a bit, Danielle quickly grabbling me to stop me plummeting over the side to my death.’
    • ‘I nodded, surprised, and wondering why I'd confide in a teacher, then grabbled my backpack and left the classroom.’
    fumble, scrabble, fish, ferret, ferret about, ferret around, rummage, rummage about, rummage around, rummage round, root about, root around, feel, cast about, cast around, cast round, search, hunt, look
    View synonyms
  • 2Sprawl or tumble on all fours.

    fall, fall over, fall down, topple over, lose one's footing, lose one's balance, keel over, pitch over, take a spill, collapse, fall headlong, fall head over heels, fall end over end
    View synonyms


Late 16th century: probably from Dutch grabbelen ‘scramble for a thing’, from Middle Dutch grabben (see grab).