Definition of genuflect in English:



  • 1 Lower one's body briefly by bending one knee to the ground, typically in worship or as a sign of respect.

    • ‘Devotees walk days, weeks and even months to visit the holy shrines, sometimes kneeling and genuflecting before and after each step.’
    • ‘He quickly walked to it and before he entered into the pew, he genuflected and did the sign of the cross, the way his father had taught him so long ago.’
    • ‘It is customary to show reference to the Blessed Sacrament by genuflecting on both knees.’
    • ‘Give me a position, and I'll find you an expert to support it - and not just an expert but one with an institutional affiliation sounding so dignified it could make a nobleman genuflect.’
    • ‘The congregation, mostly elderly, stood in the open air among jagged brick walls, while priests chanted, genuflected and blessed the crowd with holy water.’
    • ‘She found an empty place in a pew in the back of the church and after she genuflected, knelt and began her rosary.’
    • ‘Just tell me when to sit, stand, kneel, and genuflect.’
    • ‘She made me genuflect and kiss her topaz ring before entering.’
    • ‘Father Gerard, on the other hand, was genuflecting at the altar.’
    • ‘In the end, what the church needs is less technology and more people genuflecting.’
    • ‘Carpenter crossed the carpeted floor of the Cathedral's dark interior and stopped only to genuflect wearily, and daub his fingers in the font once more.’
    • ‘This is the reason for head-coverings, face-veilings, bowing, kneeling, genuflecting, and other signs of spiritual modesty.’
    • ‘She walked slowly and calmly up to the front of the church and genuflected, and before walking up to the podium, stopped and placed a hand on the cloth-draped coffin.’
    • ‘After making the sign of the cross and genuflecting before the tabernacle, she knelt down and put her hands together in prayer.’
    • ‘The boy genuflected in respect, ‘A pleasure to meet you, Your Majesty.’’
    • ‘Complaining under his breath, he regretfully complied, finding himself down on one knee, genuflecting before Mistress Rai'chan.’
    • ‘There was absolute silence as the strange ritual was done, the only sound the muffled chink of coins and the rustle of clothes as each recipient genuflected to the glittering Prince.’
    • ‘The Chief Adviser genuflected and walked out of the room backwards.’
    • ‘Regina genuflected before the tabernacle and then knelt down on one of the pews, made the Sign of the Cross and began to pray silently.’
    • ‘When the two were standing before him, his apprentice genuflected to the master.’
    fall to one's knees, get down on one's knees, genuflect, bow, bow down, make obeisance, kowtow, curtsy, show reverence, show deference
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    1. 1.1Show deference or servility.
      ‘politicians had to genuflect to the far left to advance their careers’
      • ‘Still, this baseball season, writers and broadcasters won't stop genuflecting at the altar of team chemistry.’
      • ‘If I sometimes missed the point of some of these interpretive discoveries along the way, I could only genuflect at Lang's technical ability to make them manifest.’
      • ‘The organization would genuflect to West in every way.’
      • ‘It genuflects to such charlatans and presents them as legitimate ‘people's leaders,’ providing them with much needed credibility.’
      • ‘Maybe this is why he needs to genuflect before the altar of high art.’
      • ‘Today's Tribune, on the other hand, genuflects thoughtfully at the remarkable sums cultural productions entice to the coffers of the city's tourism industry.’
      • ‘Despite the resounding rejection of the European Constitution by French and Dutch voters, the fact is, old Europe still genuflects at the altar of socialism and collectivism.’
      • ‘Journalists were not the only ones who failed to genuflect before the lessons of history that he worshipped.’
      • ‘He wants to force federal judges to genuflect to his right-wing beliefs.’
      • ‘You can bet on football and basketball with drug-dealing bookmakers as long as you bow and scrape and genuflect when called onto the commissioner's carpet.’
      • ‘They, of all people, will have creaky joints and damaged knees as they genuflect to the tax-cutting elite in this country.’
      • ‘I am not one who automatically genuflects at the altar of editorial page innovation.’
      • ‘The politicians in them wanted to genuflect to democracy, open debate and all the new citizen journalists who seem to wield so much influence these days.’
      • ‘He can put an end to the rumpus by genuflecting before his fellow ministers and the European Commission.’
      • ‘Mere mention of the two environmental groups, and the city and provincial officials genuflect.’
      • ‘All of the services genuflect before the requirements for jointness and interoperability.’
      • ‘If we continue to genuflect to decentralization as a fundamental criterion for running elections, we make it much harder for such reform efforts to achieve true democracy.’
      • ‘It is disgusting to see government ministers all but genuflecting to known bandits and murderers, but that has been the norm for many years now.’
      • ‘Besides, we're at the museum to genuflect, not discuss.’
      • ‘All too often, gutless reviewers genuflect to ‘major writers’, composing fawning reviews that barely hint at how bad the books are.’
      incline the body, incline the head, make an obeisance, make a bow, nod, curtsy, drop a curtsy, bob, salaam, genuflect, bend the knee, kowtow
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Mid 17th century (in the sense ‘bend (the knee’)): from ecclesiastical Latin genuflectere, from Latin genu knee + flectere to bend.