"grok |grÃ¤k| verb ( grokked, grokking) trans. informal understand (something) intuitively or by empathy : because of all the commercials, children grok things immediately. â€¢ intrans. empathize or communicate sympathetically; establish a rapport. ORIGIN mid 20th cent.: a word coined by Robert Heinlein (1907â€“88), American science fiction writer, in Stranger in a Strange Land.