gropingly

groping

[groh-ping]
adjective
1.
moving or going about clumsily or hesitantly; stumbling.
2.
showing or reflecting a desire to understand, especially something that proves puzzling: a groping scrutiny; a groping expression.

Origin:
1300–50; Middle English; see grope, -ing2

gropingly, adverb
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World English Dictionary
grope (ɡrəʊp)
 
vb (usually foll by for)
1.  to feel or search about uncertainly (for something) with the hands
2.  (intr; usually foll by for or after) to search uncertainly or with difficulty (for a solution, answer, etc)
3.  (tr) to find or make (one's way) by groping
4.  slang (tr) to feel or fondle the body of (someone) for sexual gratification
 
n
5.  the act of groping
 
[Old English grāpian; related to Old High German greifōn, Norwegian greipa; compare gripe]
 
'gropingly
 
adv

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

grope
O.E. grapian "to feel about as one blind or in darkness," originally "to feel or handle," related to gripan "grasp at" (see gripe). Fig. sense is from early 14c. Indecent sense (marked as "obsolete" in OED) is from c.1300.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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