grab (n.) Look up grab at
1777, "thing grabbed;" 1824, "act of grabbing, a sudden grasp or seizing" from grab (v.). Up for grabs attested from 1945 in jive talk.
grab (v.) Look up grab at
"seize forcibly or roughly," 1580s, from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German grabben "to grab," from Proto-Germanic *grab-, *grap- (cognates: Old English græppian "to seize," Old Saxon garva, Old High German garba "sheaf," literally "that which is gathered up together"), from PIE *ghrebh- (1) "to seize, reach" (cognates: Sanskrit grbhnati "seizes," Old Persian grab- "seize" as possession or prisoner, Old Church Slavonic grabiti "to seize, rob," Lithuanian grebiu "to rake"). Sense of "to get by unscrupulous methods" was reinforced by grab game, a kind of swindle, attested from 1846. Related: Grabbed; grabbing.