intransitive verb (-eled or -elled; -eling or -elling) Etymology: back-formation from groveling prone, from groveling, adverb, from Middle English, from gruf, adverb, on the face (from Old Norse ā grūfu) + -ling Date: 1552 1. to creep with the face to the ground ; crawl 2. a. to lie or creep with the body prostrate in token of subservience or abasement b. to abase oneself 3. to give oneself over to what is base or unworthy ; wallow <
groveling in self-pity
groveler noungrovelingly adverb

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Grovel — Grov el, v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Groveled}or {Grovelled}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Groveling} or {Grovelling}.] [From OE. grovelinge, grufelinge, adv., on the face, prone, which was misunderstood as a p. pr.; cf. OE. gruf, groff, in the same sense; of Scand …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • grovel — index truckle Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • grovel — (v.) 1590s, Shakespearian back formation of groveling (M.E.), regarded as a prp. but really an adverb, from O.N. grufe prone + obsolete adverbial suffix ling (which survives also as the long in HEADLONG (Cf. headlong), SIDELONG (Cf. sidelong));… …   Etymology dictionary

  • grovel — *wallow, welter Analogous words: *fawn, cringe, cower, toady, truckle: crawl, *creep: *abase, demean, humble Contrasted words: soar, mount, ascend, *rise: aspire (see AIM) …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • grovel — meaning ‘to behave obsequiously’, has inflected forms grovelled, grovelling, and in AmE also groveled, groveling …   Modern English usage

  • grovel — [v] abase, demean oneself apple polish*, beg, beg for mercy, beseech, blandish, bootlick*, bow and scrape*, brown nose*, butter up*, cater to, court, cower, crawl, creep, cringe, crouch, eat crow*, eat dirt*, eat humble pie*, fall all over*,… …   New thesaurus

  • grovel — ► VERB (grovelled, grovelling; US groveled, groveling) 1) crouch or crawl abjectly on the ground. 2) act obsequiously to obtain forgiveness or favour. DERIVATIVES groveller noun. ORIGIN …   English terms dictionary

  • grovel — [gräv′əl, gruv′əl] vi. groveled or grovelled, groveling or grovelling [back form. (first found in Shakespeare) < grovelling, down on one s face (assumed to be prp.) < ME grufelinge < gruf, for o grufe, on the face (< ON ā grūfu) +… …   English World dictionary

  • grovel — v. 1) (D; intr.) to grovel to (she will not grovel to anyone) 2) (misc.) to grovel in the dirt * * * [ grɒv(ə)l] (misc.) to grovel in the dirt (D; intr.) to grovel to (she will not grovel to anyone) …   Combinatory dictionary

  • grovel — [[t]grɒ̱v(ə)l[/t]] grovels, grovelling, grovelled (in AM, use groveling, groveled) 1) VERB (disapproval) If you say that someone grovels, you think they are behaving too respectfully towards another person, for example because they are frightened …   English dictionary

  • grovel — grov|el [ˈgrɔvəl US ˈgra: , ˈgrʌ ] v past tense and past participle grovelled present participle grovelling BrE past tense and past participle groveled present participle groveling AmE [Date: 1800 1900; Origin: groveling lying face downward (16… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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