Definition of grope in US English:

grope

verb

  • 1no object, with adverbial Feel about or search blindly or uncertainly with the hands.

    ‘she got up and groped for her spectacles’
    • ‘He kneeled down, looking under the seat, and he groped blindly for the pen, stretching to get it.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He groped in his back pocket and handed me his schedule.’
    • ‘The dentist returned to find me with my head between my knees, and one arm groping blindly for the stop button on the VCR.’
    • ‘He groped blindly in the dark for the telephone, almost knocking it over instead of picking it up.’
    • ‘She was starting to cry from the fury felt inside of her, and she blindly groped inside of the silverware drawer.’
    • ‘I reached down for my sweatshirt, groping around for the pockets and then for the box of aspirin.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Her hands groped along the floor in front of her and she attempted to pull her painful, gasping body along.’
    • ‘He groped out blindly and grasped one of the dog's front legs.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I reach down to the floor and grope around for my phone.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Jake crawled onto the bed, groping blindly for the towel he always kept nearby for just these occasions.’
    • ‘He groaned inwardly, and began to grope along his side table, trying to find the receiver.’
    • ‘Matthew slowed his pace down and reached out, blindly groping around for the cool touch of a doorknob.’
    • ‘"Run, " says Tom, but the gang breaks into pursuit while Tom, trying to hold the pace, gropes in his backpack.’
    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. 1.1 Move along with difficulty by feeling objects as one goes.
      ‘she blew out the candle and groped her way to the door’
      • ‘Whirling, she groped her way through the hotel's revolving side door.’
      • ‘The stream fell away beneath me, and I clambered and groped my way down a wet and slippery rock face, nearly falling.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I groped my way along the bottom of the boat and popped up into the rapids.’
      • ‘Neither my dad nor Chad said anything while I carefully groped my way upstairs.’
      • ‘She felt around and realised it was a tent she had landed in and groped her way out.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘Now we groped our way by flashlight up deeply weathered steps to the top of the tallest pyramid.’
      • ‘Anywho, after that disaster was all said and done, I groped my way downstairs.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Feeling cranky all over again, Matthew stood up abruptly and groped his way to the kitchen.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He felt his way along the corridor, groping in the darkness for the door he knew would lead outside, facing the east gate.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He stood and groped his way to the edge of the clearing.’
      • ‘The wife gets out of bed and gropes down the dark corridor barefoot.’
    2. 1.2grope for Search mentally with hesitation or uncertainty for (a word or answer)
      ‘she was groping for the words which would express what she thought’
      ‘their groping attempts to create a more meaningful existence’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Nevertheless, as the attack grew ever more frenzied, I still somehow managed to retain the presence of mind to grope for the necessary remedy.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But divers grope with words to express the gap between the experience and the recollection.’
      • ‘I groped for encouraging words, I fumbled for motivational encouragement, but the words just refused to be found.’
      • ‘He spoke rapidly, fervently, occasionally groping for the right word.’
      • ‘He listened patiently and I groped for the words.’
      • ‘I watch, fascinated as I can see him searching, desperately searching, groping for the words.’
      • ‘The building was - Liz groped for a decent word - compact.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘‘Rhea, please,’ she called, groping for words, but finding none.’
      • ‘That is an admirable statement of something I was groping blindly to try to express - thank you.’
      • ‘Obviously grateful for that flash of candor, he started groping for the words that might express his incredulity.’
      • ‘Yet today, thousands of years after man first put this question to himself, he is still groping for an answer.’
      • ‘They illuminate the thoughts for which we only grope.’
      • ‘Perhaps he groped for words he had not yet been taught.’
      • ‘They were red and Katrina's mind groped for the word.’
  • 2informal with object Feel or fondle (someone) for sexual pleasure, especially against their will.

    ‘I don't want strangers groping me’
    ‘they groped each other wildly in the taxi’
    • ‘They were practically groping him, grabbing his shoulders and tugging on his shirt, even as he turned to leave.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He was groping her under her shirt with his right hand while his left hand was trying to get through the waist band of her pants.’
    • ‘Some plain-clothes police beat, abused and sexually groped women demonstrators.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A police PR chief who wrote an anti-sexism guide for officers has been sacked for groping colleagues and downloading porn.’
    • ‘This was a loser who thought he could get away with groping her on the court.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Why should I just sit back and let those sluttish women flirt and grope him?’
    • ‘Aren't you going to shout at me for groping you?’
    • ‘As I got closer, I saw that he was groping her and saying disgusting things.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘At least it looks better than the poorly-disguised groping you two are pulling off right now.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I don't want to date someone who has to let people grope him.’
    • ‘Along about midnight I was awakened by a man's hands groping me.’
    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’
    • ‘David and I are often to be found by our friends having a quick grope, like a couple of teenagers.’
    • ‘When I was a student, the odd grope was as far as it went.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘By all accounts, his under-the-table gropes and nightclub come-ons had women fleeing in their droves.’
    • ‘And that meant he could have a good grope in the dark.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘And although he admired the breasts, he never dared instigate a quick grope of them.’
    • ‘What mathematical model could account for the happily married successful man risking marriage and career for a meaningless drunken grope with the office tart at the Christmas party?’
    • ‘We stood at the public bar and demanded schooners, copping the jeers, sexual jibes and gropes of the regulars.’
    • ‘But there are limits: the grope must take place in a semi-private cubicle, in a strip club, and can't involve touching genitals.’
    • ‘What of the gropes, the bullying, the sadistic humiliations he said he was responsible for?’
    • ‘Under that umbrella in Colorado as I understand it, this could be anything from a mild grope to almost rape.’
    • ‘The warriors made quite a fuss over Sara as she moved among them, making boozy offers and launching flagrant gropes.’
    • ‘Before then, dope smoke and the fast grope made a trip to the seashore in March seem acceptable.’
    • ‘Were threats really worse than innocent gropes?’
    • ‘I was surprised as I felt the sudden grope of two hands upon my rear.’
    • ‘But the ‘brushes’ became definite gropes and feels.’
    fondle, grope, caress, hug, embrace, cuddle
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Origin

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

Pronunciation

grope

/ɡroʊp//ɡrōp/