grov·el / ˈgrävəl; ˈgrə-/ • v. (grov·eled, grov·el·ing; Brit. grov·elled, grov·el·ling) [intr.] lie or move abjectly on the ground with one's face downward: she was groveling on the floor in fear. ∎ act in an obsequious manner in order to obtain someone's forgiveness or favor: everyone expected me to grovel with gratitude | [as adj.] (groveling) his groveling references to “great” historians and their “brilliant” works. DERIVATIVES: grov·el·er n.grov·el·ing·ly adv.