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"UP FOR GRABS" - What does this expression mean?


The expression “up for grabs” has two very distinct meanings:

1. Available to anyone; unclaimed.

"This last piece of cake is up for grabs—who wants it?"

"I don't know who will get the promotion. It's up for grabs."


2. In a state of chaos.

"After the CEO's scandalous behavior was exposed, the whole company was 

up for grabs."

"When the market crashed, the whole office was up for grabs."


It more commonly means that if something is up for grabs, it is available for anyone who is willing or able to compete 

for it. So its first definition is that one we use more frequently. And it’s also this use that we see in the video above.


Since it’s an expression, it is worth remembering that it is INFORMAL.


Also, if you like to know about HISTORY:

This phrase was originally mid 20th-century US slang, relating especially to a woman who is open to sexual advances, and became popular, especially in America, from about 1950.


One more thing before you go: it’s always preceded by the verb to be, so we say that something is up for grabs, the books are up for grabs, and so on.



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