kowtower

kowtow

[kou-tou, -tou, koh-]
verb (used without object)
1.
to act in an obsequious manner; show servile deference.
2.
to touch the forehead to the ground while kneeling, as an act of worship, reverence, apology, etc., especially in former Chinese custom.
noun
3.
the act of kowtowing.
Also, kotow.


Origin:
1795–1805; < Chinese kòutóu literally, knock (one's) head

kowtower, noun
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
kowtow (ˌkaʊˈtaʊ)
 
vb
1.  to touch the forehead to the ground as a sign of deference: a former Chinese custom
2.  (often foll by to) to be servile or obsequious (towards)
 
n
3.  the act of kowtowing
 
[C19: from Chinese k'o t'ou, from k'o to strike, knock + t'ou head]
 
kow'tower
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

kowtow
1804 (n.), from Chinese k'o-t'ou custom of touching the ground with the forehead to show respect or submission, lit. "knock the head," from k'o "knock, bump" + t'ou "head." The verb in the fig. sense of "act in an obsequious manner" is from 1826.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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