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. origin, cf. Icel. gr[=u]fa, in [=a] gr[=u]fu on the face, prone, gr[=u]fa to grovel.] 1. To creep on the earth, or with the face to the ground; to lie prone, or move uneasily with the body prostrate on the earth; to lie flat on one's belly, expressive of abjectness; to crawl. [1913 Webster]

To creep and grovel on the ground. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

2. To tend toward, or delight in, what is sensual or base; to be low, abject, or mean. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • 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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