Would-be partners had to grovel for deals and were only accepted on onerous terms, they said.
So long as it continued to grovel in the depths, we could not think of setting out.
Ali says she was like a wild beast, but he twisted her wrist and made her grovel in the dust.
Why, I would maroon any of my crew who would cry and grovel and snivel when tied up for his three dozen.
The women shriek and swoon, grovel on the ground, and tear their hair.
Like the miserable cur that you are, you grovel and beg and pray in a way that I would never condescend to do to you.
But don't let him have her, don't let him be happy with her, while I grovel here in shame!
Are you to be happy, while I grovel in the intensity of my wretchedness?
My clients came to me, singly and in pairs, to grovel and to implore.
I aspire no higher; my pinions were shorn away, and I now grovel on the earth, and wish to worship in her bosom.'
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.
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."