bow the knee

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bow the knee

To show one's deference. This phrase can literally refer to the physical act of kneeling or it can be figurative. They can threaten me all they want—I still refuse to bow the knee to them. Once we're standing before the king tonight, we must bow the knee.
See also: bow, knee

bow (or bend) the knee (to)

kneel in submission; submit.
See also: bow, knee
References in periodicals archive ?
Further, in the dedicatory poem for The Black Christ, Harold Jackman and two others are described as three who have not bowed the knee to "grasp a lock / Of Mammon's hair.
The man who reduced him to fan status was a 74-year-old Cuban whom even Jones bowed the knee to.
Twelve enviromental groups, including the Wilderness Society, National Audubon and four local Audubon chapters, the Northcoast Environmental Center, Headwaters and the Oregon Natural Resources Council, have bowed the knee, licked the boot.
Nelson is one of the hottest local talents around, having never bowed the knee in ten outings during which he has claimed Northern Area, English and Commonwealth titles in the super flyweight division.
Derry bowed the knee to Dublin last summer and have played poorly in the League this spring, failing in their