1. To work interminably and without apparent progress. Often used transitively with `over' or `through'. "The file scavenger has been groveling through the /usr directories for 10 minutes now." Compare grind and crunch. Emphatic form: `grovel obscenely'. 2. To examine minutely or in complete detail. "The compiler grovels over the entire source program before beginning to translate it." "I grovelled through all the documentation, but I still couldn't find the command I wanted."