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Come to grips with

Posted by M.Mazzucco on July 10, 2001

In Reply to: Come to grips with posted by ESC 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."

: My two cents: I think the phrase reflects a more aggressive stance than "come to terms with." If a person "comes to grips" with a problem, he is facing reality and is ready to do battle. Maybe like two wrestlers grip each other.

I gather the main meaning is almost equivalent to "grapple with," in which case... I'll just use the latter! Thanks to both.