One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1In a kneeling position.
- ‘When I came to my senses again, I was on my knees with JD kneeling beside me.’
- ‘She said, ‘Get down on your knees and pray to God.’’
- ‘The morning found me on my knees in front of the coal furnace trying to understand why the fire kept going out.’
- ‘I was on my knees as I said these things, kneeling near the end of my bed with my hands joined in a vague approximation of a person praying.’
- ‘If you have to get down on your knees, try kneeling on one knee and then switching to the other one every minute to minimize the pressure and disperse it.’
- 1.1 On the verge of collapse.‘when they took over, the newspaper was on its knees’
- ‘They say that one of the best times to invest in a blue chip firm is when the company is on its knees.’
- ‘Self-catering has its good points but when you are on your knees with exhaustion and badly need to be spoiled, indulged and treated like a princess, it's hard to remember exactly what they are.’
- ‘They have a tremendous manager in Blackwell, who has admitted that he would not have had a sniff of the job if the club had not been on their knees.’
- ‘At a time when most of the global economy is on its knees, Chinese exports have rocketed by 20% so far this year.’
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