Definition of grope in English:

grope

verb

  • 1no object, with adverbial Search blindly or uncertainly by feeling with the hands.

    ‘she groped for her spectacles’
    • ‘The dentist returned to find me with my head between my knees, and one arm groping blindly for the stop button on the VCR.’
    • ‘It was too early to kill him, so I blinked rather blearily instead, groping around blindly for my glasses, and noticed two pairs of feet standing nearby.’
    • ‘She shook her head despite his grip, her hands groping blindly for her knives only to gather more cuts and bruises from the broken bottles lying on the floor.’
    • ‘Enveloped in a rack of old, heavy coats, he reached up blindly, groping in the air until his hand closed on a string.’
    • ‘Against her shoulder she could feel Erik's hand groping blindly in the darkness for a sign of her or Isabella.’
    • ‘Jake crawled onto the bed, groping blindly for the towel he always kept nearby for just these occasions.’
    • ‘Matthew slowed his pace down and reached out, blindly groping around for the cool touch of a doorknob.’
    • ‘Stumbling out of bed, I groped blindly in the darkness for the light switch, flicked it on, and sleepily rubbed gritty, irritating gunk out of my aching eyes.’
    • ‘It didn't take long, however, for the ringing to resemble a chainsaw splitting through my head, so I blindly groped under my bed for the cordless.’
    • ‘He groped out blindly and grasped one of the dog's front legs.’
    • ‘She was starting to cry from the fury felt inside of her, and she blindly groped inside of the silverware drawer.’
    • ‘He kneeled down, looking under the seat, and he groped blindly for the pen, stretching to get it.’
    • ‘He groped blindly in the dark for the telephone, almost knocking it over instead of picking it up.’
    • ‘I grope blindly and my hand finds a paperweight on the end table, a lump of volcanic glass that Emily picked up on our honeymoon in Hawaii.’
    • ‘I reached down for my sweatshirt, groping around for the pockets and then for the box of aspirin.’
    • ‘He groped in his back pocket and handed me his schedule.’
    • ‘"Run, " says Tom, but the gang breaks into pursuit while Tom, trying to hold the pace, gropes in his backpack.’
    • ‘I reach down to the floor and grope around for my phone.’
    • ‘Her hands groped along the floor in front of her and she attempted to pull her painful, gasping body along.’
    • ‘He groaned inwardly, and began to grope along his side table, trying to find the receiver.’
    fumble, scrabble, fish, ferret, ferret about, ferret around, rummage, rummage about, rummage around, rummage round, root about, root around, feel, cast about, cast around, cast round, search, hunt, look
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    1. 1.1Move along uncertainly by feeling objects as one goes.
      ‘she blew out the candle and groped her way to the door’
      • ‘I groped my way along the bottom of the boat and popped up into the rapids.’
      • ‘He felt his way along the corridor, groping in the darkness for the door he knew would lead outside, facing the east gate.’
      • ‘Should we not commemorate in some fashion a young man who worked here among our ancestors and who groped his way through the darkness of the unknown and lit a lamp along the path?’
      • ‘Blearily I pulled on my dressing gown and groped my way to the front door, making ready to have a go at somebody for having the audacity to come a-calling so early on a Sunday morning, but there was nobody there.’
      • ‘The staging of scenes in which the lights go out - actually up - and the actors grope around on stage while the audience can see every move could be silly, but works brilliantly.’
      • ‘Anywho, after that disaster was all said and done, I groped my way downstairs.’
      • ‘When he regained consciousness, it was dark, and he groped his way down to the village, where a doctor dressed twenty separate wounds that he had suffered in the fall.’
      • ‘They walked along the slippery wooden deck to the raised rear section of the ship, entered the door the dwarf had taken, and groped their way through the dark to the rear of the ship.’
      • ‘As instructed, he turned off the headlights and slowly groped his way through the icy ruts, squinting to see by the parking lights' feeble orange glow.’
      • ‘She groped her way back to her cell, where she dragged out the damp-smelling futons and piled on a heavy wad of assorted bedding.’
      • ‘Whirling, she groped her way through the hotel's revolving side door.’
      • ‘I groggily got out of bed and groped my way to the medicine chest.’
      • ‘Rather than accepting her offered hand, the lad felt for the support beam and groped his way back to his feet.’
      • ‘Neither my dad nor Chad said anything while I carefully groped my way upstairs.’
      • ‘He stood and groped his way to the edge of the clearing.’
      • ‘Feeling cranky all over again, Matthew stood up abruptly and groped his way to the kitchen.’
      • ‘Now we groped our way by flashlight up deeply weathered steps to the top of the tallest pyramid.’
      • ‘The stream fell away beneath me, and I clambered and groped my way down a wet and slippery rock face, nearly falling.’
      • ‘She felt around and realised it was a tent she had landed in and groped her way out.’
      • ‘The wife gets out of bed and gropes down the dark corridor barefoot.’
    2. 1.2grope forSearch uncertainly for (a word or answer) in one's mind.
      ‘she was groping for the words which would express what she thought’
      • ‘I watch, fascinated as I can see him searching, desperately searching, groping for the words.’
      • ‘They were red and Katrina's mind groped for the word.’
      • ‘It seems that many are groping for words that will cause people to pause and think again, not simply reject what is being said based on resistance to its form and style.’
      • ‘I groped for encouraging words, I fumbled for motivational encouragement, but the words just refused to be found.’
      • ‘‘Rhea, please,’ she called, groping for words, but finding none.’
      • ‘He spoke rapidly, fervently, occasionally groping for the right word.’
      • ‘Obviously grateful for that flash of candor, he started groping for the words that might express his incredulity.’
      • ‘The building was - Liz groped for a decent word - compact.’
      • ‘He listened patiently and I groped for the words.’
      • ‘Perhaps he groped for words he had not yet been taught.’
      • ‘Lincoln was groping for answers, was a huge reader of the Bible, but not a member of a formal religious denomination, especially early in his career.’
      • ‘Yet today, thousands of years after man first put this question to himself, he is still groping for an answer.’
      • ‘Nevertheless, as the attack grew ever more frenzied, I still somehow managed to retain the presence of mind to grope for the necessary remedy.’
      • ‘If there are conflicting reports, it's important to interrupt your narrative masterpiece to note that and let the reader grope toward his or her own version of the truth.’
      • ‘They illuminate the thoughts for which we only grope.’
      • ‘But divers grope with words to express the gap between the experience and the recollection.’
      • ‘That is an admirable statement of something I was groping blindly to try to express - thank you.’
      • ‘I had seen it before on the faces of Alzheimer's sufferers, as they groped blindly for something they knew they should remember but couldn't quite grasp.’
      • ‘When you're not sure about the exact structure of the page, though, it's better to grope blindly through all the content with a minimum of assumptions.’
      • ‘How absurd and self-defeating it would be to argue that artists should or can continue to grope blindly, trusting to accident or mere intuition.’
  • 2informal with object Fondle (someone) for sexual pleasure roughly or clumsily, or without the person's consent.

    ‘I don't want strangers groping me’
    ‘they groped each other wildly in the taxi’
    • ‘A doctor accused of groping a woman patient during an eye examination yesterday admitted touching her breast.’
    • ‘A shop assistant accused of groping a customer as he measured her for a ‘perfect pair of jeans’ has been cleared of molesting her.’
    • ‘The girl told her the defendant had been touching her, interfering with her and groping her.’
    • ‘She went off into the throng of people being groped on the dance floor.’
    • ‘I don't want to date someone who has to let people grope him.’
    • ‘Aren't you going to shout at me for groping you?’
    • ‘He had been groping me all over up until that point.’
    • ‘But I don't want you sneaking around, groping your boyfriend and thinking you're pulling off a fast one.’
    • ‘Along about midnight I was awakened by a man's hands groping me.’
    • ‘As I got closer, I saw that he was groping her and saying disgusting things.’
    • ‘At least it looks better than the poorly-disguised groping you two are pulling off right now.’
    • ‘They were practically groping him, grabbing his shoulders and tugging on his shirt, even as he turned to leave.’
    • ‘This was a loser who thought he could get away with groping her on the court.’
    • ‘According to the scientists, who carried out the studies, the octopus gropes potential partners with what they term a ‘specially modified arm’ to establish the sex of the partner.’
    • ‘Nathan felt his anger flare as he watched the man grope at Marie.’
    • ‘And what's more, I understand that he actually gropes people who work on his show.’
    fondle, touch
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noun

informal
  • An act of fondling someone for sexual pleasure.

    ‘she and Steve sneaked off for a quick grope’
    • ‘We stood at the public bar and demanded schooners, copping the jeers, sexual jibes and gropes of the regulars.’
    • ‘David and I are often to be found by our friends having a quick grope, like a couple of teenagers.’
    • ‘I was surprised as I felt the sudden grope of two hands upon my rear.’
    • ‘Before then, dope smoke and the fast grope made a trip to the seashore in March seem acceptable.’
    • ‘Yet, I'd never got more than the odd snog and a bit of a drunken grope, while everyone else was at it like rabbits.’
    • ‘But the ‘brushes’ became definite gropes and feels.’
    • ‘By all accounts, his under-the-table gropes and nightclub come-ons had women fleeing in their droves.’
    • ‘What of the gropes, the bullying, the sadistic humiliations he said he was responsible for?’
    • ‘After a few gropes, and more kissing, I made my excuses and left.’
    • ‘Certainly, his behaviour was less than civilized: finding her asleep on the floor, he does the good thing of covering her up but takes the chance of a bit of a grope as he does so, for which he gets a good slapping.’
    • ‘But there are limits: the grope must take place in a semi-private cubicle, in a strip club, and can't involve touching genitals.’
    • ‘And that meant he could have a good grope in the dark.’
    • ‘When I was a student, the odd grope was as far as it went.’
    • ‘The warriors made quite a fuss over Sara as she moved among them, making boozy offers and launching flagrant gropes.’
    fondle, grope, caress, hug, embrace, cuddle
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Origin

Old English grāpian, of West Germanic origin; related to gripe.

Pronunciation

grope

/ɡrəʊp/