bow down(redirected from bowing down)
1. Literally, to bend down at the neck, waist, or knees, as in a sign of deference, respect, or humility. In Japan, it is customary to bow down when meeting someone for the first time. The actors took to the stage and bowed down in response to the audience's applause.
2. To obey, pledge allegiance, or submit one's will to someone, especially in a reverential or servile manner. Usually followed by "to" or "before." I'll never bow down to you! My allegiance will always be to my own country. The megalomaniac wished to make the whole world bow down before her.
bow down to (someone)
To obey, pledge allegiance, or submit one's will to someone, especially in a reverential or servile manner. My allegiance is to my own country; I'll never bow down to you! The autocratic CEO all but makes his employees bow down to him.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
bow down(to someone or something) and bow to someone or something
1. Lit. to bend or curtsy to someone or something. Do you expect me to bow down or something when you enter? He bowed down low to the duchess. She faced forward and bowed to the altar.
2. Fig. to submit to someone or something; to yield sovereignty to someone or something. I will not bow down to you, you dictator! We will never bow to a foreign prince.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. To bend the head or the top part of the body forward as a sign of respect: The loyal subjects stood before the throne and bowed down to the king and queen.
2. To submit to someone's orders without offering resistance: The rebels refused to bow down to a corrupt government.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.