- Genuflect is defined as to bend at the knee, or to touch one knee to the ground, especially in a respectful or religious way.
An example of genuflect is to kneel before the tabernacle at church.
A woman genuflects in church.
- to bend the knee, as in reverence or worship
- to act in a submissive or servile way
Origin of genuflectEcclesiastical Medieval Latin genuflectere ; from Classical Latin genu, knee + flectere, to bend: see flex
intransitive verbgen·u·flect·ed, gen·u·flect·ing, gen·u·flects
- To bend the knee or touch one knee to the floor or ground, as in worship.
- To be servilely respectful or deferential; grovel.
Origin of genuflectLate Latin genūflectere : Latin genū, knee; see genu-1 in Indo-European roots + Latin flectere, to bend.
(third-person singular simple present genuflects, present participle genuflecting, simple past and past participle genuflected)
From around 1620–1630 from Medieval Latin genūflectō (“I bend the knee”) equivalent to the Latin genū (“knee”) + flectō (“to bend”).