on bended knee

Idioms & Phrases

on bended knee

Humbly, pleading, as in They're desperate for funds; they're asking for contributions on bended knee. This expression alludes to a traditional attitude of supplication. Bended, the past tense of bend, survives only in this idiom, elsewhere having been replaced by bent. [Mid-1600s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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