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grope in the dark

1. Literally, to feel about without the use of one's eyes, as due to blindness or an absence of light. I was groping in the dark down in this basement for ten minutes before I could find a light switch.
2. To seek (something) in a blind, aimless, or uncertain manner, especially to find a solution, meaning, or sense of purpose. We've been groping in the dark for a way to pay our mortgage, but I just don't see how we'll be able to afford it. Pretty much everyone gropes in the dark at some point or another, trying to figure out the meaning of life.
See also: dark, grope

grope (about) (for someone or something)

 and grope (around) (for someone or something)
to feel around blindly for someone or something. In the darkness, he groped about for his glasses. Fran groped for the light switch and found it.

grope after someone or something

to reach for a departing or fleeing person or thing awkwardly or ineffectually. The feeble hand groped after the departing form. I groped after the cat as it ran under the bed.
See also: after, grope

grope (around)

(for someone or something) Go to grope (about) (for someone or something).

grope at someone or something

to reach for someone or something blindly. She groped feebly at the form she could hardly see. Sharon groped at Frank as he ran out to get the doctor.
See also: grope


n. a real or imagined group of people engaged in sexual activities. That party turned into a hopeless group-grope.
References in periodicals archive ?
They had proceeded thus gropingly two or three miles further when, all of a sudden, Clare became conscious of some vast erection close in his front.
Prison Bestiaries I love you that's true I love you that's false crows on my tongue wage war with swallows we've got blackness inside our backs But if one day the beloved or the beauty comes along we find our spinning tops again sunlight scars the water All around the air thins we throw a shovel of earth on the thighs the ivy comes into focus Migratory pleasures you bequeath to the heart decaying nymphs and we go on living gropingly under the waves like crayfish I love you for you I write poems to stop thinking drunk on images I invent margins to prolong you If I had at least your name to speak o my unknown my madwoman of the streets honored in my veins like a king by his empire My needle of gold missing in the hay
concurring in the result) ("The lower courts have continued gropingly to express the feeling of outrage at conduct of law enforcers that brought recognition of the defense in the first instance.
Interestingly, the alleged internal opposition to the "neocon" faction in the White House was supposed to be provided by none other than Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice--here gropingly identified as "realists" rather than "blacks"--and, furthermore, in complete harmony with Otto von Habsburg's account, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, and John Bolton--in effect, the presumptive "white Americans" or "Anglo-Saxons"--were explicitly set apart from the "neocons.
This exploration," he added, "can be made gropingly.
We are thus made to understand that thought contains that which contains it as well; it is shaped by that to which it can only tentatively, gropingly attempt to give shape in turn.
It was unique, one wants, gropingly, to say, not because of the content of the aims in whose service it was put into effect, but because the aims in whose service it was put into effect had no content in the ordinary sense; were in a certain sense vacuous; were phantom or spectral aims; the stuff of nightmare or the sleep of reason, not the stuff of ordinary crime.