Definition of kneel in US English:


verbknelt, kneeled

[no object]
  • Be in or assume a position in which the body is supported by a knee or the knees, as when praying or showing submission.

    ‘they knelt down and prayed’
    • ‘He immediately kneeled down in front of the water and splashed his face repeatedly.’
    • ‘The man hit him again and forced Pierre down on to his knees as if he was kneeling before a king.’
    • ‘They tied me up like a beast and then they were kneeling on me, kicking and punching.’
    • ‘Carl wheeled the bike closer to the house and knelt down and began to check it over for signs of obvious damage.’
    • ‘He was kneeling on a sofa staring out of the open window.’
    • ‘The woman follows him down and kneels beside his sprawled body.’
    • ‘However, she did kneel down and help pick up the papers and put them back in his briefcase.’
    • ‘Once he reached her, he kneeled down on one knee so that he was looking up at her.’
    • ‘She got up and crept through the dark so she could kneel beside her mom's bed.’
    • ‘My house keys fell out of my purse and I knelt to pick them up.’
    • ‘Then he noticed her, she was kneeling with her back to him but her long black curls were unmistakable.’
    • ‘I was kneeling on the floor beneath his feet and nearly got trampled to death in the scrum.’
    • ‘He knelt beside the young woman's shivering body and wrapped her in his coat until an ambulance arrived.’
    • ‘He was kneeling on the floor, blindfolded and gagged and wearing handcuffs.’
    • ‘I remember we were always taught to kneel beside our bed and say our prayers before we went to bed.’
    • ‘She looked even more uncertain when we all knelt down around the mattress.’
    • ‘The couple knelt in a crouched position with their hands joined over a bowl of holy water.’
    • ‘She was kneeling over the dead body of the man she loved.’
    • ‘He put a hand over his mouth and slowly knelt down beside his friend's lifeless body.’
    • ‘She was kneeling and praying in front of the graves.’
    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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Old English cnēowlian, from cnēow (see knee).