on your knees

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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 ?
They told me that YOU were on your knees, Sir Pitt: do kneel once more, and let me see this pretty couple
Morrel seized their hands, and opening the door exclaimed in a voice choked with sobs, "On your knees -- on your knees -- he is our benefactor -- the saviour of our father
Well, then, you have implored this love on your knees, and I have refused you; I was blind, as you were a little while since; but as it was my love that you sought, it is my love I now offer you.