Grip vs. Grippe

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Grip and grippe are two words that are pronounced in the same manner but are spelled differently and have different meanings, which makes them homophones. We will examine the definitions of grip and grippe, where these two words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

Grip means to grab or hold onto something tightly or a firm hold on something. Grip is also used figuratively to mean to hold the interest or attention of someone or holding control over something. The word grip is used as a noun or a transitive verb, which is a verb that takes an object. Related words are grips, gripped, gripping, gripper. The word grip is derived from the Old English word grippan which means to seize or obtain.

Grippe is a term for influenza. The term grippe is an old-fashioned term, rarely used today, except in this context. It is usually seen with the determiner the, as in the grippe. Grippe is a word borrowed from French, first used in English in the 1770s.


As Inc. tightens its grip on retail sales, a growing number of brands are pushing back by championing local retailers. (The Wall Street Journal)

The pair were snapped having an animated conversation over coffee at a local café and at one point Simone laughed enthusiastically while Rosanna warmly gripped her hand. (The Daily Mail)

A relentless heatwave dubbed “Lucifer” which gripped parts of Europe this week has sent temperatures soaring to record highs, causing at least two deaths and prompting authorities to issue severe weather warnings. (The Belfast Telegraph)

She arrived in New York in early March of 1931 and, before continuing on to Hollywood, holed up at the Pierre hotel with a bad case of “the grippe.” (Vanity Fair Magazine)