- to humble oneself or act in an abject manner, as in great fear or utter servility.
- to lie or crawl with the face downward and the body prostrate, especially in abject humility, fear, etc.
- to take pleasure in mean or base things.
Origin of grovel
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Related Wordsgroupie, lackey, adulator, politician, puppet, minion, slave, parasite, fan, flatterer, flunky, hanger-on, doormat, backscratcher, bootlicker, groveler, handshaker, sycophant, toady, ass-kisser
- to humble or abase oneself, as in making apologies or showing respect
- to lie or crawl face downwards, as in fear or humility
- (often foll by in) to indulge or take pleasure (in sensuality or vice)
Word Origin and History for groveler
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.