kowtow to

kowtow to (someone or something)

To seek esteem through deference to someone. Don't just kowtow to the boss—tell him what you really think! He'll respect you more for it. Legislators have been accused of kowtowing to corporate lobbyists following the repeal of the regulations.
See also: kowtow, to
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

kowtow to someone or something

to grovel to someone or something. I won't kowtow to anyone! You don't expect me to go in there and kowtow to that committee, do you?
See also: kowtow, to
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

kowtow to

To show someone or something excessive respect and obedience in order to gain or maintain favor: The peasants had to kowtow to the dictator. The staff kowtowed to every plan their boss proposed.
See also: kowtow, to
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.
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References in classic literature ?
Sacramento gives us our appropriations and therefore we kowtow to Sacramento, and to the Board of Regents, and to the party press, or to the press of both parties."
It is clearly one of master and servant, the Brexiteer myth of "an independent country" has been completely debunked as Boris Johnson does his utmost to kowtow to Donald Trump's wishes, receiving nothing in return.
"It is disappointing that the Prime Minister has again opted to kowtow to this US administration.
It is downright pathetic for Malacanang to kowtow to Beijing's wishes all the time,' the party-list lawmaker said.
PS: "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel" are disgraceful words, no wonder remainers kowtow to the EU!
At weddings, couples may sometimes kowtow to their respective parents, although the standing bow is currently a lot more common.
He sees risk that China will hunker down and resist bullying on trade, rather than kowtow to demand, which will likely see the tariff war ratcheting up rather than down.
This harassment from the Chinese government and netizens led 85C to go on the defensive and kowtow to Beijing's world view.
Theresa May will not kowtow to betting shop bosses and demands action.
And we don't have to kowtow to the Germans and French, who seem to have short memories.
The Tories are failing economically, badly split on Europe and immoral when they kowtow to Saudi Arabia's brutal regime.
I WAS intrigued by the letter sent in by Alan Carter of Newcastle with his opinion boots and bombs are a futile weapon to use against an aggressive regime, ie ISIL or IS as they wish to be known, what he doesn't say is what he would do to defeat this murderous group who wish to wipe out the whole of the Western population if we don't kowtow to their way of life.
He also said there was no need to "kowtow to the Americans every time they wanted something done", especially when this involved checks the US did not impose on its own domestic routes.
And he said there was no need to "kowtow to the Americans ever y time they wanted something done".