from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- intransitive v. To behave in a servile or demeaning manner; cringe.
- intransitive v. To lie or creep in a prostrate position, as in subservience or humility.
- intransitive v. To give oneself over to base pleasures: "Have we not groveled here long enough, eating and drinking like mere brutes?” ( Walt Whitman).
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- v. To be prone on the ground.
- v. To crawl
- v. To abase oneself before another person.
- v. To be nice to someone or apologize in the hope of securing something.
- v. To take pleasure in mundane activities.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- intransitive v. To creep on the earth, or with the face to the ground; to lie prone, or move uneasily with the body prostrate on the earth; to lie flat on one's belly, expressive of abjectness; to crawl.
- intransitive v. To tend toward, or delight in, what is sensual or base; to be low, abject, or mean.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To creep or crawl on the earth, or with the face and body bent to the ground; lie prone, or move with the body prostrate on the earth; especially, to lie prostrate in abject humility, fear, etc.
- Hence To have a tendency toward or take pleasure in low or base things; be low, abject, or mean; be morally depraved.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- v. show submission or fear
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, Fourth Edition)
From Old Norse á grufu ("on one's belly") ( > Old Norse grúfa ("to grovel")). (Wiktionary)