A consummate Wall Street creature, the pathetic, groveling Paulson knew what would happen without a bailout.
A mortified Phillips, from Belfast, wrote a groveling apology in response.
Whatever happened to the groveling apology and the second chance . . . the kind of forgiving spirit that made America great?
1590s, Shakespearian back-formation of groveling (Middle English), regarded as a present participle but really an adverb, from Old Norse grufe "prone" + obsolete adverbial suffix -ling (which survives also as the -long in headlong, sidelong); first element from Old Norse a grufu "on proneness." Perhaps related to creep. Related: Groveled; grovelled; groveling; grovelling.