An example of to grovel is to beg and plead for someone's forgiveness.
- to lie prone or crawl in a prostrate position, esp. abjectly
- to behave humbly or abjectly, as before authority; debase oneself in a servile fashion
- to wallow in what is low or contemptible
Origin of grovelback-formation (first found in Shakespeare) ; from grovelling, down on one's face (assumed to be present participle ) ; from Middle English grufelinge ; from gruf, for o grufe, on the face (; from Old Norse ? gr?fu) + -ling, -ling
intransitive verbgrov·eled, grov·el·ing, grov·els also grov·elled or grov·el·ling
- To behave in a servile or obsequious manner.
- To lie or creep in a prostrate position, as in subservience or humility.
- To give oneself over to base pleasures: “Have we not groveled here long enough, eating and drinking like mere brutes?” (Walt Whitman).
Origin of grovelBack-formation from obsolete groveling, prone, face downward, from Middle English : (on) grufe, face downwards (from Old Norse ā grūfu, from grūfa, to grovel) + -ling, adv. suff.; see –ling2.
(third-person singular simple present grovels, present participle grovelling or groveling, simple past and past participle grovelled or groveled)
- The spellings grovelling and grovelled are more common in the UK. Groveling and groveled are more common in the US.
From Old Norse á grufu (“on one's belly”) (> Old Norse grúfa (“to grovel”)).