bring to 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 to (one's) knees

To reduce to a position of subservience or submission.
See also: bring, knee
References in periodicals archive ?
Therefore, Washington officials have been ill advised in believing that by slapping more sanctions on Iran, they will be able to bring to knees a nation who adheres to their ideology of no submission.