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From Middle English *grovelen, from Old Norse grufla, grœfla (“to grovel”), from Proto-Germanic *grubilōną (“to dig, delve into”), from Proto-Indo-European *gʰrebʰ‑ (“to dig, scrape, scrabble, scratch”); akin to Old Norse á grufu (“on one's belly”) ( > Old Norse grúfa (“to lie face down, grovel”)). Cognate with Scots grovel, gruvil (“to grovel”), German grübeln (“to meditate, ponder”), Norwegian Nynorsk gruvla (“to grovel”). Compare also West Frisian groebeltsje (“to make a mess, skip school, skive”), Dutch grobbelen (“to grope, root, grub”).
grovel (third-person singular simple present grovels, present participle (UK) grovelling or (US) groveling, simple past and past participle (UK) grovelled or (US) groveled)
- (intransitive) To be prone on the ground.
- (intransitive) To crawl.
- (intransitive) To abase oneself before another person.
- (intransitive) To be slavishly nice to someone or apologize in the hope of securing something.
- (intransitive) To take pleasure in mundane activities. (Can we add an example for this sense?)
to be prone on the ground
to abase oneself
to be slavishly nice in the hope of securing something
to take pleasure in mundane things
- English terms inherited from Middle English
- English terms derived from Middle English
- English terms derived from Old Norse
- English terms derived from Proto-Germanic
- English terms derived from Proto-Indo-European
- English terms with audio links
- Rhymes:English/ɒvəl/2 syllables
- English lemmas
- English verbs
- English intransitive verbs