grope

When you grope for something, you try to get a grip on it. If you drop your flashlight in a dark cave, you might grope around for it. Beware of snakes!

If you're asked a question and you grope for an answer, you're at a loss for words. You can also grope another person, although I wouldn't recommend it: grope is usually used to describe touching that is unwanted (i.e. creepy behavior). If you do grope someone, don't bother groping for an explanation when you get slapped or arrested.

Definitions of grope
1

v feel about uncertainly or blindly

“She groped for her glasses in the darkness of the bedroom”
Synonyms:
fumble
Type of:
look for, search, seek
try to locate or discover, or try to establish the existence of

v search blindly or uncertainly

“His mind groped to make the connection”
Type of:
assay, attempt, essay, seek, try
make an effort or attempt

v fondle for sexual pleasure

“He made some sexual advances at the woman in his office and groped her repeatedly”
Type of:
caress, fondle
touch or stroke lightly in a loving or endearing manner

n the act of groping; and instance of groping

Type of:
touch, touching
the act of putting two things together with no space between them

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.