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grovel

play
verb grov·el \ˈgrä-vəl, ˈgrə-\

Simple Definition of grovel

  • : to kneel, lie, or crawl on the ground

  • : to treat someone with too much respect or fear in a way that shows weakness in order to be forgiven or to gain approval or favor

Full Definition of grovel

grov·eled or grov·elledgrov·el·ing or grov·el·ling

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 :  to creep with the face to the ground :  crawl

  3. 2 a :  to lie or creep with the body prostrate in token of subservience or abasement b :  to abase oneself

  4. 3 :  to give oneself over to what is base or unworthy :  wallow <groveling in self-pity>

grov·el·er play \-vəl-ər\ noun
grov·el·ing·ly play \-vəl-iŋ-lē\ adverb

Examples of grovel

  1. The peasants groveled before the king.

  2. He had to grovel to get her to accept his apology.

  3. He made a groveling apology to his girlfriend.



Origin of grovel

back-formation from groveling prone, from groveling, adverb, from Middle English, from gruf, adverb, on the face (from Old Norse ā grūfu) + -ling


First Known Use: 1552

Rhymes with grovel



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