grovel

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grovel

To interact with someone in an overtly agreeable or deferential manner. Well, if your mother's mad at me, I guess I'm going to have to grovel—we want this family dinner to be pleasant, after all. Come, we must grovel before the king.

grovel about in (something)

To show one's respect or deference by lying down on the ground in some specific substance. I won't grovel about in filth for anyone!
See also: grovel

grovel before (someone)

To interact with someone in an overtly agreeable or deferential manner. The phrase can also specifically refer to the act of prostration. Well, if your mother's mad at me, I guess I'm going to have to grovel before her—we want this family dinner to be pleasant, after all. Get down and grovel before your king.
See also: before, grovel

grovel in (something)

1. To interact with someone in an overtly agreeable or deferential manner, usually with a particular aim (indicated after "in"). Well, if your mother's mad at me, I guess I'm going to have to grovel in apology—we want this family dinner to be pleasant, after all.
2. To show one's respect or deference by lying down on the ground in some specific substance. I won't grovel in filth for anyone!
See also: grovel

grovel to (someone)

To interact with someone in an overtly agreeable or deferential manner. It can also refer specifically to the act of kneeling or prostration. Well, if your mother's mad at me, I guess I'm going to have to grovel to her—we want this family dinner to be pleasant, after all. Get down and grovel to your king!
See also: grovel
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

grovel (about) in something

to wallow around in the dirt, etc., while prostrating oneself. The poor fellow groveled about in the mud, trying to keep from being beaten. Why are you there, groveling in the dust?
See also: grovel

grovel before someone or something

to prostrate oneself before someone or something. The prisoner groveled before his accusers. The peasant groveled before the lord of the manor.
See also: before, grovel

grovel to someone

to kneel in deference to someone; to kowtow to someone. You don't have to grovel to me! I refuse to grovel to anyone.
See also: grovel
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

grovel

(ˈgrɑvlæ)
in. to fondle or pet. They spent the whole time in the backseat groveling.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
In "Oseibo," the end-of-the-year gift-giving custom, the duo attacked an endlessly wrapped package, groveling before each other with exaggerated politesse.
It's a popular pastime in this state, whose motto is "Live Free or Die You Commie Dog." But anything, including clandestine maple-syrup tampering, could develop, so gentlemen: start your spin doctors, and let the groveling begin.
It is easy to imagine her frustration, after groveling for months to set up an interview, to have her research subject endlessly gush in full society-page blather, "I am so fortunate.
Unique images--an old man throwing change at a groveling woman who attempts to eat the coins, or a dozen-plus shoes thrown onto an empty stage--made for a rich and ornate work.
For them, no insult is too cutting, no term of abuse too crude, that it cannot inspire another round of desperate waffling and groveling.