I am wondering if there's a word you can use for animals like dogs and wolves. Is there some kind of gestures or action that imply submitting oneself to a stronger individual?

Here's an example sentence:

The other wolves * before the alpha wolf after he showed how much more powerful it was.

2 Answers 2


I think the word you want is grovel:

2 a : to lie or creep with the body prostrate in token of subservience or abasement
// groveled at the feet of the king
2 b : to abase oneself
// would not grovel for political advantage

Note that when dogs grovel, they bare their throats to the dominant member as an act of submission. (The physical action is a little different than how a human would grovel, but the idea of being prostrate is the same.)


I would suggest cower: "to crouch down in fear". But it has many close synonyms with slightly different connotations, that might also fit.

If it is meant to convey respect or humility instead of just fear, you could consider genuflect, but that isn't something wolves would do.

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