A woman genuflects in church.
An example of genuflect is to kneel before the tabernacle at church.
- to touch one bent knee to the ground and lower one's body as an act of reverence, as when one enters a church
- 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”).