Definition of grovel
1 : to creep with the face to the ground : crawl
2a : to lie or creep with the body prostrate in token of subservience or abasement groveled at the feet of the kingb : to abase oneself would not grovel for political advantage
3 : to give oneself over to what is base or unworthy : wallow groveling in self-pity
grovelerplay \ˈgrä-vəl-ər, ˈgrə-\ noun
grovelinglyplay \ˈgrä-vəl-iŋ-lē, ˈgrə-\ adverb
Examples of grovel in a Sentence
The peasants groveled before the king.
He had to grovel to get her to accept his apology.
He made a groveling apology to his girlfriend.
Origin and Etymology 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
GROVEL Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of grovel for English Language Learners
: 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
GROVEL Defined for Kids
Definition of grovel for Students
1 : to kneel, lie, or crawl on the ground (as in fear)
2 : to act toward someone in a weak or humble way He groveled before the king.
Seen and Heard
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