Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal, Idioms, Encyclopedia.
Related to grovelling: surpassed, adhered


 (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.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.grovelling - 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"


groveling (US) [ˈgrɒvlɪŋ] ADJrastrero, servil


, (US) groveling
adjkriecherisch (inf), → unterwürfig
nKriecherei f (inf), → Speichelleckerei f (inf)
References in classic literature ?
A brute insidious, plundering, grovelling, That aye must lie, That wittingly, wilfully, aye must lie: For booty lusting, Motley masked, Self-hidden, shrouded, Himself his booty- HE--of truth the wooer?
White Fang crawled slowly, cringing and grovelling in the abjectness of his abasement and submission.
You are the first--yes, Miss Western, you are the first of your name who ever entertained so grovelling a thought.
It was altogether unaccountable that a young gentleman whose imagination had been strangled in his cradle, should be still inconvenienced by its ghost in the form of grovelling sensualities; but such a monster, beyond all doubt, was Tom.
But these dead-tinted, hollow-eyed, angular skeletons of villages on the Rhone oppress me with the feeling that human life--very much of it--is a narrow, ugly, grovelling existence, which even calamity does not elevate, but rather tends to exhibit in all its bare vulgarity of conception; and I have a cruel conviction that the lives these ruins are the traces of were part of a gross sum of obscure vitality, that will be swept into the same oblivion with the generations of ants and beavers.
The earlier animals, hot and weary with their grovelling, shot vicious glances at him.
Do what Apollo may as he lies grovelling before his father, aegis-bearing Jove, Hector cannot escape us longer.
Across the border in Canada, Calgary International Airport has been forced to issue a grovelling apology after its latest money-making scheme crashed and burned.
Sacked American golf chief Ted Bishop last night issued a grovelling apology for his Facebook blast that described Ian Poulter as a squealing schoolgirl.
to make a grovelling on-air apology to Judy Murray yesterday after mocking her for putting too much pressure on Andy.
She ordered: "These two men deserve, and will have, an apology, a grovelling apology, from the Crown Prosecution Service within 48 hours.
HATS off to the 23,000 fans who drew a grovelling apology out of Everton over the redesign of the crest on the team jersey.