[ gruhv-uhl, grov- ]
/ ˈgrʌv əl, ˈgrɒv- /
verb (used without object), grov·eled, grov·el·ing or (especially British) grov·elled, grov·el·ling.
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.
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Origin of grovel
1585–95; back formation from obsolete groveling (adv.), equivalent to obsolete grufe face down (< Old Norse ā grūfu face down) + -ling2, taken to be present participle
OTHER WORDS FROM grovelgrov·el·er; especially British, grov·el·ler, noungrov·el·ing·ly; especially British, grov·el·ling·ly, adverbun·grov·el·ing, adjectiveun·grov·el·ling, adjective
Words nearby grovel
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
British Dictionary definitions for groveler
/ (ˈɡrɒvəl) /
verb -els, -elling or -elled or US -els, -eling or -eled (intr)
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)
Derived forms of grovelgroveller, noungrovelling, noun, adjectivegrovellingly, adverb
Word Origin for grovel
C16: back formation from obsolete groveling (adv), from Middle English on grufe on the face, of Scandinavian origin; compare Old Norse ā grūfu, from grūfa prone position; see -ling ²
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