Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To reach about uncertainly; feel one's way: groped for the telephone.
  • intransitive v. To search blindly or uncertainly: grope for an answer.
  • transitive v. To make (one's way) by reaching about uncertainly.
  • transitive v. Slang To handle or fondle for sexual pleasure.
  • n. The act or an instance of groping.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To feel with or use the hands; to handle.
  • v. To search or attempt to find something in the dark, or, as a blind person, by feeling; to move about hesitatingly, as in darkness or obscurity; to feel one's way, as with the hands, when one can not see.
  • v. To touch (another person) closely and (especially) sexually
  • v. To examine; to test; to sound.
  • n. An act of groping, especially sexually.
  • n. an iron fitting of a medieval cart wheel

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To feel with or use the hands; to handle.
  • intransitive v. To search or attempt to find something in the dark, or, as a blind person, by feeling; to move about hesitatingly, as in darkness or obscurity; to feel one's way, as with the hands, when one can not see.
  • transitive v. To search out by feeling in the dark.
  • transitive v. To examine; to test; to sound.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To seize or touch with or as if with the hands; grasp in any way; feel; perceive.
  • To search out by the sense of touch alone; find or ascertain by feeling about with the hands, as in the dark or when blind.
  • To use the hands; handle.
  • To feel about with the hands in search of something, as in the dark or as a blind person; feel one's way in darkness or obscurity; hence, to attempt anything blindly or tentatively.
  • Specifically To feel for fish under the bank of a brook. I. Walton. See gropple.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the act of groping; and instance of groping
  • v. fondle for sexual pleasure
  • v. search blindly or uncertainly
  • v. feel about uncertainly or blindly

Etymologies

Middle English gropen, from Old English grāpian.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • But let me make one comment about what's just happened in response to what you called grope-gate, Larry.

    CNN Transcript Oct 7, 2003

  • a socialite's life † heidi montag and spencer pratt were busy spreading a message of 'grope' - ugh! popsugar † mischa barton is Friday October 24 2008 @ 7: 55AM

    popbytes

  • Later in his car while laughing about the incident, I felt safe to "grope" myself and repay my debt.

    Walking the walk, talking the talk: Security of mind

  • It quickly necessitated figuring out how to "grope" myself discretely in public!

    Walking the walk, talking the talk: Security of mind

  • The entire chain of events leading up to the "grope" was done with some humor involved.

    SF Tidbits for 9/4/06

  • Thus, in a whole imbroglio of Capabilities, we go stupidly groping about, to grope which is ours, and often clutch the wrong one: in this mad work must several years of our small term be spent, till the purblind Youth, by practice, acquire notions of distance, and become a seeing Man.

    Sartor Resartus, and On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and the Heroic in History

  • In response to that comment I said that the t-shirt (image below) only had its wording to go on to spread its message, which leads me to believe that because the word "grope" was chosen (which means assault) that it is assault they are promoting, not consensual touching that happens to lead to the discovery of a lump.

    feminist blogs

  • But more importantly, this brings up the age old question of when does a "rub up" become a "grope"?

    Boston.BarstoolSports.com

  • Fat Patty sniffs the delicate waft of peat and sidles over, proffering a grope in exchange for a few wet-lipped swigs.

    Slide Steel

  • That happened to Rand Paul on Monday, when the TSA in Nashville wanted to grope him after the scanner showed an "anomaly" on his knee.

    The bigger picture of Rand Paul's brush with the TSA | Jennifer Abel

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