[ grohp ]
See synonyms for: gropegroping on

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.

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. Slang. to touch or fondle (someone) for sexual pleasure, especially without the person’s consent.

  1. an act or instance of groping.

  2. Slang. an act or instance of sexually fondling another person.

Origin of grope

Before 900; Middle English gropien, Old English grāpian, derivative of grāp “grasp”; akin to gripe, grasp

Other words for grope Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use grope in a sentence

  • But she knew it was useless to argue with Henry, so she hastily groped in the bag for the matches and handed them to her brother.

    The Box-Car Children | Gertrude Chandler Warner
  • I groped my way to my desk and there sank into my chair, leaned my head on my hands, and closed my eyes.

  • Opening the door, I groped my way across the room till I found the lamp and lighted it.

  • He made for the wall, and as he groped along he found a chain depending and reaching down into the water.

    St. Martin's Summer | Rafael Sabatini
  • Arthur carefully groped his way up the cliff, but had great difficulty in finding the path.

    Digby Heathcote | W.H.G. Kingston

British Dictionary definitions for grope


/ (ɡrəʊp) /

  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)

  1. (tr) to find or make (one's way) by groping

  2. (tr) slang to feel or fondle the body of (someone) for sexual gratification

  1. the act of groping

Origin of grope

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

Derived forms of grope

  • gropingly, adverb

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