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grovel

IPA

How to pronounce grovel (audio)

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Dictionary definition of grovel

To act in a subservient or overly submissive manner, often in an attempt to gain favor or forgiveness from someone more powerful or important.
"The employee was forced to grovel in front of his boss to keep his job."

Detailed meaning of grovel

This may involve crawling or lying on the ground, or making exaggerated displays of humility or deference. Groveling can be seen as a sign of weakness or desperation, as it suggests that the person engaging in this behavior lacks self-respect or the ability to stand up for themselves. While groveling may be effective in some situations, such as when asking for forgiveness or seeking a favor from a powerful person, it can also be seen as undignified or humiliating, and may lead to further disrespect or mistreatment.

Example sentences containing grovel

1. She refused to grovel for forgiveness after the heated argument.
2. Sometimes in life, you may have to grovel to maintain peace.
3. I'd rather walk away than grovel for their approval.
4. He decided to grovel before his boss for the major mistake he made.
5. If you think I'm going to grovel, you're sadly mistaken.
6. She told him she wouldn't grovel, maintaining her dignity in the face of adversity.

History and etymology of grovel

The verb 'grovel' has an etymological connection to the Middle English word 'grufelen,' which meant 'to lie face down' or 'to creep on the ground.' This Middle English term, in turn, can be traced back to the Old English 'grufian,' with similar meanings. The deeper root can be found in the Proto-Germanic word 'grubōną,' which means 'to dig' or 'to dig in the ground.' Over time, 'grovel' came to represent not just physical actions but also a metaphorical submission or abasement, where individuals act in a subservient or overly submissive manner, often to gain favor or forgiveness from someone more powerful or important. The original physical sense of lying low or creeping on the ground evolved into a figurative sense, reflecting the idea of humility and servility conveyed by the term 'grovel.' The etymology of 'grovel' thus highlights the connection between physical postures and metaphorical expressions of subservience.

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Further usage examples of grovel

1. It hurts to see a close friend grovel for attention.
2. It's better to stand up for your principles than to grovel before those who seek to oppress you.
3. You shouldn't have to grovel to get someone's love or respect.
4. If he wants to regain trust, he will have to grovel and show real remorse.
5. He decided not to grovel, even though it meant losing his job.
6. She didn't want to grovel to her parents for money, so she found a job instead.
7. He would rather lose the match than grovel before his opponent.
8. She refused to grovel to get a promotion she deserved.
9. He felt he had to grovel to make amends for his rude behavior.
10. She decided not to grovel, as she knew her self-worth was above that.
11. I won't grovel just to make you feel superior.
12. He might grovel when he realizes the damage he's done.
13. You'll never have to grovel if you maintain a level of integrity in your dealings.
14. If you grovel, it might seem as if you lack self-esteem and confidence.

blandish,bootlick,cower,crawl,creep,toady

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cringe, stand firm, rise, confront

beg,beseech,flatter,implore,kowtow,pander

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