|groom (ɡruːm, ɡrʊm)|
|1.||a person employed to clean and look after horses|
|3.||any of various officers of a royal or noble household|
|4.||archaic a male servant or attendant|
|5.||archaic, poetic a young man|
|6.||to make or keep (clothes, appearance, etc) clean and tidy|
|7.||to rub down, clean, and smarten (a horse, dog, etc)|
|8.||to train or prepare for a particular task, occupation, etc: to groom someone for the Presidency|
|9.||to win the confidence of (a victim) in order to a commit sexual assault on him or her|
|[C13 grom manservant; perhaps related to Old English grōwan to |
self-grooming, as the action of a bird in preening its feathers, or mutual grooming as part of species behaviour, as among monkeys and other mammalian groups. Mutual grooming, which is often derived from display behaviour, cements social bonds between individuals of a group or colony. The term preening is usually used to describe cleaning behaviour in birds. In some birds, oil from the preen gland, picked up from the feathers after exposure to sunlight, is a major source of vitamin D. A form of cleaning behaviour called cleaning symbiosis occurs between certain fishes or between certain shrimps and fishes. The cleaner is allowed by the recipient fish to clean the latter of external parasites, which the cleaner eats. Both cleaner and cleaned thereby benefit.
Learn more about grooming with a free trial on Britannica.com.