He grasped my hand and shook it warmly; Kay grasped him by the wrist.
SYNONYMS hold hold on • cling • clutch • grip • grasp . clasp • hang on
These words all mean to have somebody/something in your hands, arms, et cetera.
hold to have somebody/something in your hand, arms, et cetera: She was holding a large box; I held the baby gently in my arms. hold on (to somebody/something) to continue to hold somebody/something; to put your hand on somebody/something and not take your hand away: Hold on and don’t let go until I say so. cling to hold on to somebody/something tightly, especially with your whole body: Survivors clung to pieces of floating debris. clutch to hold somebody/something tightly, especially in your hand; to take hold of something suddenly: She stood there, the flowers still clutched in her hand; He felt himself slipping and clutched at a branch. grip to hold on to something very tightly with your hand: Grip the rope as tightly as you can. grasp to take hold of something firmly: He grasped my hand and shook it warmly. NOTE. The object of grasp is often somebody’s hand or wrist. clasp (formal) to hold somebody/something tightly in your hand or in your arms: They clasped hands (= held each other's hands); She clasped the children in her arms. NOTE. The object of clasp is often your hands, somebody else’s hand or another person. hang on (to something) to hold on to something very tightly, especially in order to support yourself or stop yourself from falling: Hang on tight. We’re off!
PATTERNS AND COLLOCATIONS • to hold/clutch/grip/clasp something in your hand/hands • to hold/catch/clasp somebody/something in your arms • to grip/grasp something with your hand/hands • to hold/clutch/grip/grasp/clasp/hang on to something • to hold/cling/hang on • to hold/clutch/clasp somebody/something to you • to hold/hold on to/cling to/clutch/grip/grasp/clasp/ hang on to somebody/something tight/tightly/firmly