bring something to its knees

bring (someone or something) to (someone's or something's) knees

1. To render a person or group submissive by weakening or defeating them. The general believes that such an attack will bring the opposing troops to their knees.
2. To disrupt or halt a process or thing. Unfortunately, a broken printer has brought the mailing project to its knees. Many fear that all of these new regulations will bring the stock market to its knees.
See also: bring, knee

bring something to its knees

COMMON If something brings a country or organization to its knees, it damages or destroys them. The country was brought to its knees after a wave of strikes. Uncontrolled lending brought the economy to its knees. Note: You can also say that a country or organization is on its knees. The Government was on its knees.
See also: bring, knee, something

bring something to its ˈknees

badly affect an organization, etc. so that it can no longer function: The strikes brought the industry to its knees.
See also: bring, knee, something
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