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[jen-yoo-flekt] /ˈdʒɛn yʊˌflɛkt/
verb (used without object)
to bend the knee or touch one knee to the floor in reverence or worship.
to express a servile attitude.
1620-30; < Medieval Latin genūflectere to bend the knee, equivalent to Latin genū-, stem of genu knee + flectere to bend
Related forms
genuflector, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for genuflect
  • Homeowners who genuflect to the deduction should probably be giving their thanks to mortgage bankers instead.
  • We can no longer afford to genuflect at the green altar.
British Dictionary definitions for genuflect


verb (intransitive)
to act in a servile or deferential manner
(RC Church) to bend one or both knees as a sign of reverence, esp when passing before the Blessed Sacrament
Derived Forms
genuflection, especially (Brit) genuflexion, noun
genuflector, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Medieval Latin genūflectere, from Latin genu knee + flectere to bend
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for genuflect

1620s, back-formation from genuflection. Related: Genuflected; genuflecting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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