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Come to grips with

Posted by R. Berg on July 10, 2001

In Reply to: Come to grips with posted by M. Mazzucco on July 10, 2001

: I understand the basic meaning, but is it used more in the sense of "comprehending," "understanding," or in the one of "accepting" instead?

This is a strange one. The American Heritage Dict. has two definitions for "come to grips":
1. To fight in hand-to-hand combat.
2. To deal actively and conclusively, as with a problem.
Understanding isn't mentioned at all. I had thought "come to grips with" meant to accept some painful fact or condition as a result of a difficult attitude change, but perhaps I was confusing it with "come to terms with."