kowtow was our Word of the Day on 04/24/2012. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of kowtow in a Sentence
you can try kowtowing to the boss, but he'll see right through you
Recent Examples of kowtow from the Web
Many people consider the Fiji Times to be the last independent media voice in a country where many news outlets kowtow to the government.
Whether consciously or not, the physician and patient are enacting a ritual of domination and submission, much like the kowtowing required in the presence of a Chinese emperor.
It won’t be bullied: There are few countries around the world that refuse to kowtow to American pressure.
Many people consider The Fiji Times to be the last independent media voice in a country where many news outlets kowtow to the government.
But Miuccia Prada is above kowtowing to current trends.
The new general manager and head coach kowtowed to Eli Manning and never truly became enamored with the Big Five quarterbacks who would end up being selected in the first round of the 2018 draft.
Against this backdrop, the Wuhan visit contained an undeniable element of Indian kowtowing.
That same year, 244 people were killed in city traffic, and yet our leaders kowtowed to vocal automobile activists who’d rather be allowed to continue driving fast than have our streets reworked to slow down cars and improve safety.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'kowtow.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
curry favor, kiss up to;
Did You Know?
Kowtow originated as a noun referring to the act of kneeling and touching one's head to the ground as a salute or act of worship to a revered authority. In traditional China this ritual was performed by commoners making requests to the local magistrate, by the emperor to the shrine of Confucius, or by foreign representatives appearing before the emperor to establish trade relations. (In the late 18th century, some Western nations resisted performing the ritual, which acknowledged the Chinese emperor as the "son of heaven.") The word kowtow derives from Chinese "koutou," formed by combining the verb "kou" ("to knock") with the noun "tou" ("head"). The noun had arrived in English by 1804, and the earliest evidence for the verb dates from 1826.
KOWTOW Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of kowtow for English Language Learners
: 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
KOWTOW Defined for Kids
Definition of kowtow for Students
- "… don't expect me to kowtow to you, mortal, just because old Barnacle-Beard is your father."
- —Rick Riordan, The Lightning Thief
Seen and Heard
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