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a. An iron shaft with claws at one end, usually thrown by a rope and used for grasping and holding, especially one for drawing and holding an enemy ship alongside. Also called grapnel, grappling, grappling hook, grappling iron.
b. See grapnel.
2. Any of various grasping devices having hinged tines or jaws that close around an object or load, used especially in lifting or dragging heavy items.
3. The act of grappling.
a. A struggle or contest in which the participants attempt to wrestle with each other by clutching or gripping.
b. A struggle for superiority or dominance.
v. grap·pled, grap·pling, grap·ples
1. To seize and hold with a grapple: grappled the prow of the ship.
2. To seize firmly with the hands: "Jules ... grappled the backpack chained over the back of Izzy's bike and began scrabbling through it" (Bella Bathurst).
1. To hold onto something with a grapple: "The 150-odd ships closed and grappled, initiating the most important naval battle of the Hundred Years' War" (Clifford J. Rogers).
2. To use a grapple or similar device, as for dragging.
a. To wrestle with an opponent by clutching or gripping.
b. To struggle or work hard to deal with something: grappled with their consciences; grapple with the political realities of our time.

[Middle English grapel, from Old French grapil, diminutive of grape, hook; see grape.]

grap′pler n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.grappler - combatant who tries to throw opponent to the groundgrappler - combatant who tries to throw opponent to the ground
bantamweight - weighs 115-126 pounds
battler, belligerent, combatant, fighter, scrapper - someone who fights (or is fighting)
featherweight - weighs 126-139 pounds
flyweight - weighs no more than 115 pounds
heavyweight - a wrestler who weighs more than 214 pounds
light heavyweight - a wrestler who weighs 192-214 pounds
lightweight - a wrestler who weighs 139-154 pounds
middleweight - a wrestler who weighs 172-192 pounds
sumo wrestler - a wrestler who participates in sumo (a Japanese form of wrestling); "sumo wrestlers are large heavy men"
welterweight - a wrestler who weighs 154-172 pounds
2.grappler - a tool consisting of several hooks for grasping and holdinggrappler - a tool consisting of several hooks for grasping and holding; often thrown with a rope
crampon, crampoon - a hinged pair of curved iron bars; used to raise heavy objects
claw, hook - a mechanical device that is curved or bent to suspend or hold or pull something
tool - an implement used in the practice of a vocation
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
"Not till the first week of August, when he came home from the Cape, just made into the Grappler. I was at Plymouth dreading to hear of him; he sent in letters, but the Grappler was under orders for Portsmouth.
Grapplers and boarders lined the contiguous rails of each.
'Most of my previous opponents were strikers, now we're up against a grappler and now we know what she's capable of,' said Sabanal.
His manager told that Shah is a top grappler and has a rich experience with MMA in Pakistan.
We have been selected for World Grappling Championship in Kazakhstan but we are collecting money for preparation," said Reema, another grappler. Left with no option, the grapplers have appealed the government to help them buy a mat so that they can prepare well and represent the country in the upcoming tournament.
Paddy (Dominic Brunt) will head to Belfast to have it out with the grappler at a wrestling convention.
The winning grappler walked away with USD 1000 in Bitcoin Cash (BCH), marking a new way to pay champions.
Another gold-medal bet in the SEA Games, Morte topped the 65kg category at the expense of fellow Go For Gold grappler Jonathan Maquilan in a thrilling all-Filipino finale.
Top national grappler Muhammad Inam also created history by winning a gold medal in World Championship of Beach Wrestling at Sarigerme, Turkey recently.
LAHORE -- Pakistan's top-notch grappler M Inam created history in wrestling by winning a gold medal in World Championship of Beach Wrestling at Sarigerme, Turkey.
Players will no longer be launched with greater force than intended when using the Grappler in a vehicle.