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[groom, groo m] /grum, grʊm/
a bridegroom.
a man or boy in charge of horses or the stable.
any of several officers of the English royal household.
Archaic. a manservant.
verb (used with object)
to tend carefully as to person and dress; make neat or tidy.
to clean, brush, and otherwise tend (a horse, dog, etc.).
to prepare for a position, election, etc.:
The mayor is being groomed for the presidency.
(of an animal) to tend (itself or another) by removing dirt, parasites, or specks of other matter from the fur, skin, feathers, etc.: often performed as a social act.
Origin of groom
1175-1225; Middle English grom boy, groom; apparently akin to grow
Related forms
groomer, noun
groomish, adjective
groomishly, adverb
nongrooming, adjective
regroom, verb (used with object)
ungroomed, adjective
7. educate, train, coach, drill, tutor. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for groom
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But before he told the story he had excluded all but himself and the groom.

    The Duke's Children Anthony Trollope
  • Your manner reduced me to a groom who opened your carriage door.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • With the thaw there came a groom every afternoon with a sleek and beautiful mare in case Miss McIntyre should care to ride.

    The Doings Of Raffles Haw Arthur Conan Doyle
  • The honeymoon will be spent at the town-house of the groom, in York Terrace.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • Even the ostlers cannot be got to attend to their duties, therefore I fear you will have to groom and feed your horse yourself.

    The Coming of the King James Hocking
British Dictionary definitions for groom


/ɡruːm; ɡrʊm/
a person employed to clean and look after horses
any of various officers of a royal or noble household
(archaic) a male servant or attendant
(archaic, poetic) a young man
verb (transitive)
to make or keep (clothes, appearance, etc) clean and tidy
to rub down, clean, and smarten (a horse, dog, etc)
to train or prepare for a particular task, occupation, etc: to groom someone for the Presidency
to win the confidence of (a victim) in order to a commit sexual assault on him or her
Derived Forms
groomer, noun
grooming, noun
Word Origin
C13 grom manservant; perhaps related to Old English grōwan to grow
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for groom

c.1200, grome "male child, boy;" c.1300 as "youth, young man." No known cognates in other Germanic languages. Perhaps from Old English *groma, related to growan "grow;" or from Old French grommet "servant" (cf. Middle English gromet "ship's boy," early 13c.). Meaning "male servant who attends to horses" is from 1660s.

husband-to-be at a wedding, c.1600, short for bridegroom, in which the second element is Old English guma "man."


1809, from groom (n.1) in its secondary sense of "male servant who attends to horses." Transferred sense of "to tidy (oneself) up" is from 1843; figurative sense of "to prepare a candidate" is from 1887, originally in U.S. politics. Related: Groomed; grooming.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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