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Definition of Agarrar

The word agarrar means to take or grasp with force, especially with the hand or with some instrument or tool.

It is also used to refer to capturing someone, especially a criminal, or a fugitive.


  1. To catch
  2. To take
  3. To grasp
  4. Grab


The word agarrar has the meaning of “to grasp with the hand” and comes from “claw”, which in turn comes from the Arabic gharfa meaning “handful”.

It is a transitive active verb whose meaning is to hold, tie or take something with force.

This word in its etymology is composed of the prefix “a” by the Latin “ad” which refers to closeness, and the noun “claw” and the inflectional suffix “ar”, infinitive of the verbs.

However, in different countries and regions, as well as in certain contexts, it has different meanings, such is the case in which it can mean to move in a surprising way, for example in the phrase “my boyfriend caught me off guard”.

This and most of the following meanings are mostly used in Latin America.

For example, in its meaning of catching a certain disease, or beginning to suffer from certain precarious health conditions, it is often used in the expression: “me agarró la gripe”.

Or it can be used to designate when a resolution is made to go a certain way and leave for a specific destination, as in the phrase: “Manuel went north up that hill”.

It is also used when referring to a plant, as for example: “ese geranio agarró rápido”.


In Argentina, Mexico, Uruguay and Venezuela it is used to refer to using a means of transportation.

Also in the countries of Argentina, Mexico, and Uruguay, agarrar is used to designate when you immediately grasp the intention of what a person has meant.