9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[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 grooming
  • It's supposed to help the bees' general health, and stimulate grooming behavior.
  • She was grooming it and moving it along with all the live cubs.
  • Employee-owned pets get complimentary surgeries and other medical care, as well as bathing and grooming.
  • He lives alone, has no immediate family alive, and absolutely refuses help with housekeeping or with his own grooming.
  • One area where academics often are less than fully attentive is their overall fitness and grooming.
  • There is never an excuse for poor personal grooming.
  • Some were grooming the lawn, some were erect and looking around, some were chasing others.
  • These quickly engulfed the flies and could not be cleaned off by normal grooming behavior, killing them within six hours.
  • Humans have mostly abandoned the grooming strategies of our chimp cousins.
  • After a while, the roach starts grooming itself furiously for some time, followed by complete stillness.
British Dictionary definitions for grooming


/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 grooming



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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