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grovel

[gruhv-uh l, grov-] /ˈgrʌv əl, ˈgrɒv-/
verb (used without object), groveled, groveling or (especially British) grovelled, grovelling.
1.
to humble oneself or act in an abject manner, as in great fear or utter servility.
2.
to lie or crawl with the face downward and the body prostrate, especially in abject humility, fear, etc.
3.
to take pleasure in mean or base things.
Origin
1585-1595
1585-95; back formation from obsolete groveling (adv.), equivalent to obsolete grufe face down (< Old Norse ā grūfu face down) + -ling2, taken to be present participle
Related forms
groveler; especially British, groveller, noun
grovelingly; especially British, grovellingly, adverb
ungroveling, adjective
ungrovelling, adjective
Can be confused
gavel, gravel, grovel.
Synonyms
1. truckle, toady, fawn, kowtow, pander.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for grovel
  • But he does not want to grovel for a meaningful job with them, either.
  • Even when her family panics, she refuses to grovel to get her job back.
  • If presidential candidates court the old now, in future they may grovel before them.
  • Now, when the writers are increasingly marginalized and have to grovel for access, the relationship is frequently antagonistic.
  • He heard the hateful clank of their chains, he felt them cringe and grovel, and there rose within him a protest and a prophecy.
British Dictionary definitions for grovel

grovel

/ˈɡrɒvəl/
verb (intransitive) -els, -elling, -elled (US) -els, -eling, -eled
1.
to humble or abase oneself, as in making apologies or showing respect
2.
to lie or crawl face downwards, as in fear or humility
3.
(often foll by in) to indulge or take pleasure (in sensuality or vice)
Derived Forms
groveller, noun
grovelling, noun, adjective
grovellingly, adverb
Word Origin
C16: back formation from obsolete groveling (adv), from Middle English on grufe on the face, of Scandinavian origin; compare Old Norse ā grūfu, from grūfa prone position; see -ling²
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 grovel
grovel
1593, Shakespearian back-formation of M.E. groveling, regarded as a prp. but really an adv., from O.N. grufe "prone" + obsolete adverbial suffix -ling (which survives also as the -long in headlong, sidelong); first element from O.N. a grufu "on proneness." Perhaps related to creep.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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grovel in Technology


1. To work interminably and without apparent progress. Often used transitively with "over" or "through". "The file scavenger has been groveling through the /usr directories for 10 minutes now." Compare grind and crunch. Emphatic form: "grovel obscenely".
2. To examine minutely or in complete detail. "The compiler grovels over the entire source program before beginning to translate it." "I grovelled through all the documentation, but I still couldn't find the command I wanted."
[Jargon File]

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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