genuflect

verb
gen·​u·​flect | \ ˈjen-yə-ˌflekt How to pronounce genuflect (audio) \
genuflected; genuflecting; genuflects

Definition of genuflect

intransitive verb

1a : to bend the knee
b : to touch the knee to the floor or ground especially in worship genuflected before the altar
2 : to be humbly obedient or respectful bureaucrats who genuflect before the governor

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Other Words from genuflect

genuflection \ ˌjen-​yə-​ˈflek-​shən How to pronounce genuflection (audio) \ noun

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."

Examples of genuflect in a Sentence

They genuflected before the altar in the church.

Recent Examples on the Web

Potomac Watch Podcast The goal is to identify donors who don’t genuflect to progressive views, then bully or harass them to stop giving. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Majority Preservation Act," 7 Jan. 2019 Whatever your preference, be sure to genuflect at the altar of canned and pickled vegetables upstairs in backlit mason jars. Stephanie Burt, Condé Nast Traveler, "28 Best Restaurants in Charleston," 2 May 2018 But this time, instead of letting politicians settle into the same old pattern of actively doing nothing and genuflecting to the National Rifle Association, fresh-faced young people have been relentlessly demanding more gun control. The Sacramento Bee Editorial Board, sacbee, "Schools worried about the National School Walkout are missing the point of democracy," 14 Mar. 2018 But this time, instead of letting politicians settle into the same old pattern of actively doing nothing and genuflecting to the National Rifle Association, fresh-faced young people have been relentlessly demanding more gun control. The Sacramento Bee Editorial Board, sacbee, "Schools worried about the National School Walkout are missing the point of democracy," 14 Mar. 2018 But this time, instead of letting politicians settle into the same old pattern of actively doing nothing and genuflecting to the National Rifle Association, fresh-faced young people have been relentlessly demanding more gun control. The Sacramento Bee Editorial Board, sacbee, "Schools worried about the National School Walkout are missing the point of democracy," 14 Mar. 2018 But this time, instead of letting politicians settle into the same old pattern of actively doing nothing and genuflecting to the National Rifle Association, fresh-faced young people have been relentlessly demanding more gun control. The Sacramento Bee Editorial Board, sacbee, "Schools worried about the National School Walkout are missing the point of democracy," 14 Mar. 2018 The relentless pace of war allows no time to grieve or genuflect. Justin Barrasso, SI.com, "United States War Veterans Find Refuge, Second Chance At Life In Wrestling Ring," 2 Apr. 2018 In a photo from the event, Rippon is seen genuflecting before the Drag Race host during the ball. Stephen Daw, Billboard, "Adam Rippon Kneeled Before His Queen RuPaul & Gave His Mom a Shout-Out at the Time 100 Gala," 25 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'genuflect.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of genuflect

1630, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for genuflect

Late Latin genuflectere, from Latin genu knee + flectere to bend — more at knee entry 1

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Dictionary Entries near genuflect

gentry

gents

genty

genuflect

genuflectory

genuine

genuinely

Statistics for genuflect

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Time Traveler for genuflect

The first known use of genuflect was in 1630

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More Definitions for genuflect

genuflect

verb

English Language Learners Definition of genuflect

: to kneel on one knee and then rise again as an act of respect
disapproving : to obey someone with power in a way that is seen as weak

genuflect

verb
gen·​u·​flect | \ ˈjen-yə-ˌflekt How to pronounce genuflect (audio) \
genuflected; genuflecting

Kids Definition of genuflect

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on genuflect

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with genuflect

Spanish Central: Translation of genuflect

Nglish: Translation of genuflect for Spanish Speakers

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