"gripped" in the verb sense
hold fast or firmly
"He gripped the steering wheel"
2. grapple, grip
to grip or seize, as in a wrestling match
"the two men grappled with each other for several minutes"
3. fascinate, transfix, grip, spellbind
to render motionless, as with a fixed stare or by arousing terror or awe
"The snake charmer fascinates the cobra"
Source: WordNet® (An amazing lexical database of English)
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