on (one's/its) knees

(redirected from on his knees)

on (one's/its) knees

1. In a position or manner of supplication or humble entreaty. Jeb might have scorned me for the manual labor job I offered him here 10 years ago, but he's been on his knees begging for it now that the economy has gone south.
2. In a weakened or desperate state; in a condition or state of decline or near ruin. The megacorporation, once so dominant, has been on its knees ever since news of its involvement in the banking scandal became public knowledge.
See also: knee, on

on your knees

1 in a kneeling position. 2 on the verge of collapse.
See also: knee, on

on your ˈknees


1 kneeling down: He was on his knees praying.She was on her knees looking for the coin.
2 in a very weak state: The country’s economy is on its knees.
See also: knee, on
References in classic literature ?
In utter amazement, Silas fell on his knees and bent his head low to examine the marvel: it was a sleeping child--a round, fair thing, with soft yellow rings all over its head.
Tom Hard sat in a chair before the New Willard House with his daughter, then a child of five, on his knees.
At last, the Persian decided to make a movement; and Raoul heard him slip on his knees and feel for something in the dark with his groping hands.
Don Quixote had by this time placed himself on his knees beside Sancho, and, with eyes starting out of his head and a puzzled gaze, was regarding her whom Sancho called queen and lady; and as he could see nothing in her except a village lass, and not a very well-favoured one, for she was platter-faced and snub-nosed, he was perplexed and bewildered, and did not venture to open his lips.
Every reader of a sentimental turn (and we desire no other) must have been pleased with the tableau with which the last act of our little drama concluded; for what can be prettier than an image of Love on his knees before Beauty?
Julie threw herself into the arms of the count; Emmanuel embraced him as a guardian angel; Morrel again fell on his knees, and struck the ground with his forehead.
It was a trying moment for the poor little lonely boy; however, this time he didn't ask Tom what he might or might not do, but dropped on his knees by his bedside, as he had done every day from his childhood, to open his heart to Him who heareth the cry and beareth the sorrows of the tender child, and the strong man in agony.
Poyser was leaning forward, with his elbows on his knees, his head on one side, and his mouth screwed up--apparently absorbed in making the tips of his fingers meet so as to represent with perfect accuracy the ribs of a ship.
I will confess that I was far too much taken up with what was going on to be of the slightest use as sentry; indeed, I had already deserted my eastern loophole and crept up behind the captain, who had now seated himself on the threshold, with his elbows on his knees, his head in his hands, and his eyes fixed on the water as it bubbled out of the old iron kettle in the sand.
He ran past the Inspector and his companions, and he fell on his knees before his master.
One man, squatting on the floor between his outstretched feet and elevating them by resting them on his knees, was violently chafing his legs.
One scab, terribly wounded, on his knees and begging for mercy, was kicked in the face.
The Warden, a tall dignified man with a grave but very pleasant face, was seated before a writing-table, which was covered with papers, and holding on his knee one of the sweetest and loveliest little maidens it has ever been my lot to see.
What meant still more to him was that he sought and did not find in himself the former tenderness for his son which he had hoped to reawaken by caressing the boy and taking him on his knee.
And yet I don't know,' he went on, spreading out the verses on his knee, and looking at them with one eye; `I seem to see some meaning in them, after all.