Definition of bring someone/something to their/its knees in US English:

bring someone/something to their/its knees

phrase

  • Reduce someone or something to a state of weakness or submission.

    • ‘At Rangers, by contrast, manager Alex McLeish seemed doomed after a series of defeats at home brought the club to its knees.’
    • ‘Instead, high winds and spectacular lightning accompanied hours of heavy rains which, at times, nearly brought the city to its knees.’
    • ‘The fish-farming industry was brought to its knees by some report saying that eating farmed salmon can kill you.’
    • ‘We have a duty to properly investigate the people who brought the city to its knees.’
    • ‘This is the man who brought our industry to its knees with his third report.’
    • ‘In the 80s, it was thought AIDS, poverty and crime had brought the neighbourhood to its knees, but a new generation of young Hamburgers rediscovered the music clubs, discos and bars.’
    • ‘The cost of the Commonwealth Games was £300m and it nearly brought the city to its knees until a last-minute government rescue package bailed it out.’
    • ‘Such a government could be brought to its knees within months.’
    • ‘Two decades of civil war have really brought the country to its knees.’
    • ‘But the current crisis, which began in mid-1998, has brought the nation to its knees.’