Groveling vs Obsequious - What's the difference?

groveling | obsequious |

As a verb groveling

is (us).

As a noun groveling

is the act of one who grovels.

As an adjective obsequious is

(archaic) obedient, compliant with someone else's orders or wishes.



Alternative forms

* (UK) grovelling


  • (US)
  • *
  • Noun

    (en noun)
  • The act of one who grovels.
  • obsequious



    (en adjective)
  • (archaic) Obedient, compliant with someone else's orders or wishes.
  • Excessively eager and attentive to please or to obey all instructions; fawning, subservient, servile.
  • * 1927 , (Thornton Wilder), (The Bridge of San Luis Rey) , p. 20
  • Translation falls especially short of this conceit which carries the whole flamboyance of the Spanish language. It was intended as an obsequious flattery of the Condesa, and was untrue.
  • (obsolete) Of or pertaining to obsequies, funereal.
  • *
  • … the survivor bound
    In filial obligation for some term
    To do obsequious sorrow…
  • *
  • Whilst I awhile obsequiously lament
    Th’ untimely fall of virtuous Lancaster.

    Usage notes

    * In modern usage, not to be confused with obsequies as the “funereal” sense has become obsolete.


    * (fawning or subservient) fawning, ingratiating, servile, slavish, sycophantic, truckling, people pleaser, kiss-ass