C17: perhaps of Scandinavian origin; compare Danish nappe, Swedish nappa to snatch. See kidnap
nab for learners of EnglishPowered by COBUILD (næb)
Word forms: nabs, nabbing, nabbed
If people in authority such as the police nab someone who they think has done something wrong, they catch them or arrest them. [informal] [V n] ⇒ He killed 12 people before the authorities finally nabbed him. [getV-ed] ⇒ Soon he was back in the armed robbery business. Again, he got nabbed.
Let's hope to God it doesn't take another before we can nab him.Fraser, Anthea PRETTY MAIDS ALL IN A ROWThis weekend in Rotterdam they would finally nab Tadeusz Radecki and bring his empire crashing down around his ears.Val McDermid THE LAST TEMPTATION'We won't get Sir Richard's stuff back for him but at least we can nab the boys who did it, preferably before they clean out anyone else.Amanda Hemingway THE GREENSTONE GRAIL: THE SANGREAL TRILOGY ONEStand back and watch the police once again efficiently and swiftly nab the suspects?James W. Hall OFF THE CHART