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genuflect

play
verb gen·u·flect \ˈjen-yə-ˌflekt\

Simple Definition of genuflect

  • : to kneel on one knee and then rise again as an act of respect

  • : to obey someone with power in a way that is seen as weak

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of genuflect

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to bend the knee b :  to touch the knee to the floor or ground especially in worship

  3. 2 :  to be servilely obedient or respectful

genuflection play \ˌjen-yə-ˈflek-shən\ noun

Examples of genuflect in a sentence

  1. They genuflected before the altar in the church.



Did You Know?

Genuflect is derived from Late Latin genuflectere, formed from the noun "genu" ("knee") and the verb "flectere" ("to bend"). "Flectere" is an ancestor of a number of common verbs in English, such as "reflect" ("to throw back light or sound") and "deflect" ("to turn aside"). By comparison "genu" sees little use in English, but it did give us "geniculate," a word often used in scientific contexts to mean "bent abruptly at an angle like a bent knee." Despite the resemblance, words such as "genius" and "genuine" are not related to "genuflect"; instead, they are of a family that includes the Latin verb gignere, meaning "to beget."

Origin of genuflect

Late Latin genuflectere, from Latin genu knee + flectere to bend — more at knee


First Known Use: 1630


GENUFLECT Defined for Kids

genuflect

play
verb gen·u·flect \ˈjen-yə-ˌflekt\

Definition of genuflect for Students

genuflectedgenuflecting

  1. :  to kneel on one knee and rise again as an act of deep respect (as in a church)




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