on (one's/its) knees

(redirected from on their knees)

on (one's/its) knees

1. In a position or manner of supplication or humble entreaty. Jeb might have scorned me for the manual labor job I offered him here 10 years ago, but he's been on his knees begging for it now that the economy has gone south.
2. In a weakened or desperate state; in a condition or state of decline or near ruin. The megacorporation, once so dominant, has been on its knees ever since news of its involvement in the banking scandal became public knowledge.
See also: knee, on
References in classic literature ?
And it was fine to see that astonished multitude go down on their knees and beg their lives of the king they had just been deriding and insulting.
The country girls, at the same time, were astonished to see these two men, so different in appearance, on their knees, preventing their companion from going on.
Two or three of the little boys were already in bed, sitting up with their chins on their knees.
Oh, sir, begging your pardon, I've never been used t' having gentlefolks's servants coming about my back places, a-making love to both the gells at once and keeping 'em with their hands on their hips listening to all manner o' gossip when they should be down on their knees a-scouring.
The Fire-Men squatted around the fire and slept with their heads bowed forward on their knees.