kowtow

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

A person kowtows.

Etymology[edit]

From Cantonese 叩頭 / 叩头 (kau3 tau4) kau3 ‘knock’ + tau4 ‘head’; Chinese Mandarin 叩頭 / 叩头 (kòutóu) kòu ‘knock’ + tóu ‘head’.

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

kowtow (third-person singular simple present kowtows, present participle kowtowing, simple past and past participle kowtowed)

  1. (intransitive) To kneel and bow low enough to touch one’s forehead to the ground.
  2. (intransitive) To bow very deeply.
  3. (intransitive, figuratively) To act in a very submissive manner.

Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

kowtow (plural kowtows)

  1. The act of kowtowing.

Translations[edit]

See also[edit]