[groom, groom]


verb (used with object)

Origin of groom

1175–1225; Middle English grom boy, groom; apparently akin to grow
Related formsgroom·er, noungroom·ish, adjectivegroom·ish·ly, adverbnon·groom·ing, adjectivere·groom, verb (used with object)un·groomed, adjective

Synonyms for groom Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for grooming

Contemporary Examples of grooming

Historical Examples of grooming

  • When it came to grooming the mud was caked thick on all hides.

    The Delta of the Triple Elevens

    William Elmer Bachman

  • Of mornings, Landy assisted with the colt's grooming and education.

    David Lannarck, Midget

    George S. Harney

  • With that he proceeded to give Bobby such a grooming as he had never had before.

    Greyfriars Bobby

    Eleanor Atkinson

  • It had been explained to them that each one should attend the grooming of his or her own horse.

    Dorothy on a Ranch

    Evelyn Raymond

  • We went round to the stables, where we found Dio, who was grooming the horses.

    With Axe and Rifle

    W.H.G. Kingston

British Dictionary definitions for grooming



a person employed to clean and look after horses
any of various officers of a royal or noble household
archaic a male servant or attendant
archaic, poetic a young man

verb (tr)

to make or keep (clothes, appearance, etc) clean and tidy
to rub down, clean, and smarten (a horse, dog, etc)
to train or prepare for a particular task, occupation, etcto groom someone for the Presidency
to win the confidence of (a victim) in order to a commit sexual assault on him or her
Derived Formsgroomer, noungrooming, noun

Word Origin for groom

C13 grom manservant; perhaps related to Old English grōwan to grow
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 grooming



c.1200, grome "male child, boy;" c.1300 as "youth, young man." No known cognates in other Germanic languages. Perhaps from Old English *groma, related to growan "grow;" or from Old French grommet "servant" (cf. Middle English gromet "ship's boy," early 13c.). Meaning "male servant who attends to horses" is from 1660s.



husband-to-be at a wedding, c.1600, short for bridegroom, in which the second element is Old English guma "man."



1809, from groom (n.1) in its secondary sense of "male servant who attends to horses." Transferred sense of "to tidy (oneself) up" is from 1843; figurative sense of "to prepare a candidate" is from 1887, originally in U.S. politics. Related: Groomed; grooming.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper