noun kow·tow \(ˌ)ka-ˈta, ˈka-ˌ\

Definition of KOWTOW

:  an act of kowtowing

Origin of KOWTOW

Chinese (Beijing) kòutóu, from kòu to knock + tóu head
First Known Use: 1804



: to agree too easily or eagerly to do what someone else wants you to do : to obey someone with power in a way that seems weak

Full Definition of KOWTOW

intransitive verb
:  to show obsequious deference :  fawn <kowtows to the boss>
:  to kneel and touch the forehead to the ground in token of homage, worship, or deep respect

Examples of KOWTOW

  1. <you can try kowtowing to the boss, but he'll see right through you>

First Known Use of KOWTOW

KOWTOW Defined for Kids


verb kow·tow \ka-ˈta, ˈka-ˌta\

Definition of KOWTOW for Kids

:  to obey a person in a position of power in a way that seems weak :  show overly respectful attention <"… don't expect me to kowtow to you, mortal, just because old Barnacle-Beard is your father." — Rick Riordan, The Lightning Thief>


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July 04, 2015
stringent Hear it
rigorous, strict, or severe
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