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intr.v. grov·eled, grov·el·ing, grov·els also grov·elled or grov·el·ling
1. To behave in a servile or obsequious manner.
2. To lie or creep in a prostrate position, as in subservience or humility.
3. To give oneself over to base pleasures: "Have we not groveled here long enough, eating and drinking like mere brutes?" (Walt Whitman).
[Back-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.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
See also related terms for prone.
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