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grope

[grohp]
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verb (used without object), groped, grop·ing.
  1. to feel about with the hands; feel one's way: I had to grope around in the darkness before I found the light switch.
  2. to search blindly or uncertainly: He seemed to be groping for an answer to the question.
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verb (used with object), groped, grop·ing.
  1. to seek by or as if by groping: to grope one's way up the dark stairs.
  2. to touch or handle (someone) for sexual pleasure.
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noun
  1. an act or instance of groping.
  2. Slang. an act or instance of sexually fondling another person.
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Origin of grope

before 900; Middle English gropien, Old English grāpian, derivative of grāp grasp; akin to gripe, grasp

Synonyms

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1. fumble, probe, fish.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for grope

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Strive and grope as he would, the thing had driven him on relentlessly.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • We all hope, we all look forward, we all grope for a future which will be better than the present.

    Mountain Meditations

    L. Lind-af-Hageby

  • It was dark, so that on both occasions we were obliged to grope our way.

  • The forward ambulance began to grope its way slowly forward.

    Poisoned Air

    Sterner St. Paul Meek

  • They had to grope in the corners, and occasionally their hands touched.

    Cap'n Eri

    Joseph Crosby Lincoln


British Dictionary definitions for grope

grope

verb
  1. (intr usually foll by for) 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. (tr) slang to feel or fondle the body of (someone) for sexual gratification
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noun
  1. the act of groping
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Derived Formsgropingly, adverb

Word Origin

Old English grāpian; related to Old High German greifōn, Norwegian greipa; compare gripe
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

Word Origin and History for grope

v.

Old English grapian "to feel about (as one blind or in darkness)," originally "lay hold of, seize, touch, attain," related to gripan "grasp at" (see gripe). Figurative sense is from early 14c. Indecent sense (marked as "obsolete" in OED) is from c.1200. Related: Groped; groping. The noun is Old English grap.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper