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See: truckle
References in classic literature ?
Either to be a hero or to grovel in the mud--there was nothing between.
He is very much embarrassed about the arms, as if they were inconvenient to him and he wanted to grovel, is very much in a perspiration about the head, and never speaks without first putting up his great hand, as delivering a token to his hearers that he is going to edify them.
Tortures and ignominies shall be heaped upon you until you grovel at my feet asking the boon of death.