\ ˈgrōp How to pronounce grope (audio) \
groped; groping

Definition of grope

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to feel about blindly or uncertainly in search grope for the light switch
2 : to look for something blindly or uncertainly grope for the right words
3 : to feel one's way groped along the dark passage

transitive verb

1 : feel up claims that her boss tried to grope her
2 : to find (one's way) by groping


plural gropes

Definition of grope (Entry 2 of 2)

: an act of groping made a grope for the light switch And what are these clumsy, embarrassing, fumbling encounters if they are not passes, beery gropes in the dark?— Nick Hornby

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Other Words from grope


groper noun

Synonyms for grope

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of grope in a Sentence

Verb I groped for the light switch. She groped around in her purse, looking for her comb. We groped along the dark passage. She claims that her boss tried to grope her.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Most Boomer women who encounter men like him have learned how to navigate away with smiles, the brushings-away of groping hands, the deft changing of a subject of conversation. Nina Burleigh, The New Republic, "Trump’s Women Are Trapped in a Cult of “Empowerment”," 13 Apr. 2020 Burdick was accused of groping driving students during practice or test drives and would instruct some of the young women to perform jumping jacks to record them on his cellphone, authorities said. oregonlive, "Oregon driver’s ed teacher, accused of sexually abusing 21 students, gets 6 months in jail," 24 Feb. 2020 He had been accused of groping boys, the reporters told him. Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press, "Catholic church sued in novel lawsuit: Our priest was falsely accused," 13 Feb. 2020 With the pandemic, the hospitality industry, like so many others in the COVID-19 era, has groped for stability as travel has come just short of a total halt. Maggie Menderski, The Courier-Journal, "From bartender to painter, Brown Hotel revamps its staff to keep employees on the books," 26 Mar. 2020 An investigation is underway after a teen girl said she was pulled over, and then groped, by a man who portrayed himself as a law enforcement officer. Carol Robinson |, al, "Police impersonator groped teen motorist; investigation underway in Opelika," 20 Feb. 2020 Employees were groped and asked to send nude photos, her report found. Sonia Moghe, CNN, "Women who settled with The Spotted Pig owner want to start new restaurant," 6 Feb. 2020 Mueller gropes Swift Taylor Swift had a concert in Denver at the Pepsi Center on her Red world tour. Mekita Rivas,, "Taylor Swift’s Sexual Assault Case: The DJ, The Groping, & The $1 Lawsuit," 31 Jan. 2020 The same day as the Donald Duck interaction, a man from Minnesota allegedly groped the chest of the employee playing Minnie Mouse three times while giving her a hug, according to authorities. Fox News, "Disney World characters say they were inappropriately touched, groped by tourists," 28 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'grope.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of grope


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


circa 1513, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for grope


Middle English, from Old English grāpian; akin to Old English grīpan to seize

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Time Traveler for grope

Time Traveler

The first known use of grope was before the 12th century

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Statistics for grope

Last Updated

18 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Grope.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for grope


How to pronounce grope (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of grope

: to search for something by reaching or touching usually with your fingers in an awkward way
: to move forward carefully by putting your hands in front of you so that you can feel anything that blocks you
: to touch (someone) in an unwanted and unexpected sexual way


\ ˈgrōp How to pronounce grope (audio) \
groped; groping

Kids Definition of grope

1 : to move along by feeling with the hands He groped along the dark hallway.
2 : to seek by or as if by feeling around She groped for the light switch. He was groping for an answer.

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More from Merriam-Webster on grope

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for grope

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with grope

Spanish Central: Translation of grope

Nglish: Translation of grope for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of grope for Arabic Speakers

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