1604, short for bridegroom (“husband-to-be”), from Middle English brydgrome, bridegome (“bridegroom”), from Old English brȳdguma (“bridegroom”), from brȳd (“bride”) + guma (“man, hero”), from Proto-Germanic *gumô (“man, person”), from Proto-Indo-European *dhg'həmo-, *dhg'homo-, equivalent to bride + goom.
Second element reanalyzed as groom, "attendant."
groom (plural grooms)
- A man who is about to become or has recently become part of a married couple. Short form of bridegroom.
From Middle English grom, grome (“man-child, boy, youth”), of uncertain origin. Apparently related to Middle Dutch grom (“boy”), Old Icelandic grómr, gromr (“man, manservant, boy”), Old French gromme (“manservant”), from the same Germanic root. Possibly from Old English *grōma, from Proto-Germanic *grōmô, related to *grōaną (“to grow”), though uncertain as *grōaną was used typically of plants; its secondary meaning being "to turn green".
Alternate etymology describes Middle English grom, grome as an alteration of gome (“man”) with an intrusive r (also found in bridegroom, hoarse, cartridge, etc.), with the Middle Dutch and Old Icelandic cognates following similar variation of their respective forms.
groom (plural grooms)
- A person who cares for horses.
2013 January 1, Brian Hayes, “Father of Fractals”, American Scientist, volume 101, number 1, page 62:
- Toward the end of the war, Benoit was sent off on his own with forged papers; he wound up working as a horse groom at a chalet in the Loire valley. Mandelbrot describes this harrowing youth with great sangfroid.
- One of several officers of the English royal household, chiefly in the lord chamberlain's department.
- the groom of the chamber; the groom of the stole
- To attend to one's appearance and clothing.
- To care for horses or other animals by brushing and cleaning them.
- To prepare someone for election or appointment.
- To prepare a ski slope for skiers
- (transitive) To attempt to gain the trust of a minor or adult with the intention of subjecting them to abusive or exploitative behaviour such as sexual abuse, human trafficking or sexual slavery.