groveling


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grov·el

 (grŏv′əl, grŭv′-)
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.]

grov′el·er n.
grovel, groveling - Grovel is a back-formation from groveling—which first meant "face downward in a prone or prostrate position."
See also related terms for prone.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.groveling - totally submissive
submissive - inclined or willing to submit to orders or wishes of others or showing such inclination; "submissive servants"; "a submissive reply"; "replacing troublemakers with more submissive people"
References in classic literature ?
He refused the proposal of the enterprising speculators by letter in these words: 'My house is a standing monument of the picturesque and beautiful, amid the mean, dishonest, and groveling constructions of a mean, dishonest, and groveling age.
I made about three passes in the air, and then there was an awful crash and that old tower leaped into the sky in chunks, along with a vast volcanic fountain of fire that turned night to noonday, and showed a thou- sand acres of human beings groveling on the ground in a general collapse of consternation.
What is worse, academics everywhere are groveling to submit to their demands.
Brown's stance makes him look weak - and such groveling from such a bright, talented man is a sad sight.