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From Old Portuguese agẽollar, corresponding to a- +‎ joelho +‎ -ar. Compare Spanish ahinojar, Catalan agenollar, French agenouiller, Italian inginocchiare, Romanian îngenunchea.



ajoelhar (first-person singular present indicative ajoelho, past participle ajoelhado)

  1. (takes a reflexive pronoun or intransitive (rare)) to kneel (to stoop down and rest on one’s knees)
    Os súditos se ajoelharam diante do rei.
    The subjects kneeled before the king.
  2. (figuratively, takes a reflexive pronoun, intransitive, or transitive with a or diante de) to kneel to (to accept defeat; to accept someone’s superiority)
    Conseguimos fazer nosso inimigo se ajoelhar.
    We were able to make our enemy kneel.
    Ela ajoelhou-se ao professor.
    She kneeled before her teacher.
  3. (transitive) to make someone kneel
    Ajoelhei os prisioneiros com um cassetete.
    I made the prisoners kneel with a truncheon.
  4. (figuratively, transitive, poetic) to subjugate (to forcibly impose obedience or servitude)
    Roma ajoelhou seus vizinhos.
    Rome subjugated its neighbours.