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grope

[grohp] /groʊp/
verb (used without object), groped, groping.
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.
verb (used with object), groped, groping.
3.
to seek by or as if by groping:
to grope one's way up the dark stairs.
4.
to touch or handle (someone) for sexual pleasure.
noun
5.
an act or instance of groping.
6.
Slang. an act or instance of sexually fondling another person.
Origin of grope
900
before 900; Middle English gropien, Old English grāpian, derivative of grāp grasp; akin to gripe, grasp
Synonyms
1. fumble, probe, fish.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for grope
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was not so easy to grope one's way to the tool-house and find the hamper and its contents.

    Better than Play Mabel Quiller-Couch
  • For some seconds he appeared, to grope about, as if he had some difficulty in finding the button.

    The Ocean Waifs Mayne Reid
  • For some obscure reason after which he did not grope the half sneer of the words stung Kendric into a sharp retort.

    Daughter of the Sun Jackson Gregory
  • She could hear him stumble out of bed and grope for the window.

    A Young Man in a Hurry Robert W. Chambers
  • And mayst thou grope at midday as the blind is wont to grope in the dark, and not make straight thy ways.

  • He had to grope among the icy mass along shore to find his way.

    Tom, The Bootblack Horatio Alger
  • Faith, but it requires courage to grope one's way through all this darkness—every step puts our necks in danger.

    Fashion and Famine Ann S. Stephens
  • However, it was a comfort not to have to grope about in total darkness.

British Dictionary definitions for grope

grope

/ɡrəʊp/
verb
1.
(intransitive) usually foll by for. to feel or search about uncertainly (for something) with the hands
2.
(intransitive; usually foll by for or after) to search uncertainly or with difficulty (for a solution, answer, etc)
3.
(transitive) to find or make (one's way) by groping
4.
(transitive) (slang) to feel or fondle the body of (someone) for sexual gratification
noun
5.
the act of groping
Derived Forms
gropingly, 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
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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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for grope

grope

verb

To touch, feel, caress, fondle, etc, with seeming or actual sexual intent (1250+)

Related Terms

group-grope

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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8
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