- The definition of kowtow is to be submissive or subservient to someone, or to kneel and touch the ground with your forehead as an act of worship.
- A woman who gives into all of her husband's needs and demands and who is submissive to him is an example of someone who kowtows to her husband.
- When a Chinese man touches his forehead to the ground while worshiping, this is an example of kowtow.
the act of kneeling and touching the ground with the forehead to show great deference, submissive respect, homage, etc., as formerly in China
Origin of kowtowChinese k'o-t'ou, literally , bump head
- to perform a kowtow
- to show servile respect (to)
intransitive verbkow·towed, kow·tow·ing, kow·tows
- To kneel and touch the forehead to the ground in expression of deep respect, worship, or submission, as formerly done in China.
- To show servile deference. See Synonyms at fawn1.
- The act of kneeling and touching the forehead to the ground.
- An obsequious act.
Origin of kowtowFrom Mandarin kòu tóu, a kowtow, from Middle Chinese kh&schwa;w` t&hhook;&schwa;w : kh&schwa;w`, to strike, knock + t&hhook;&schwa;w, head.
(third-person singular simple present kowtows, present participle kowtowing, simple past and past participle kowtowed)
- The act of kowtowing.