prostrate (oneself) before (someone or something)

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prostrate (oneself) before (someone or something)

To lie down in a supplicatory position of obedience, submission, respect, or fealty to someone or something. I will never bow to you—I only prostrate myself before God. The only thing you can do is prostrate yourself before her and beg for her forgiveness.
See also: before, prostrate

prostrate oneself before someone or something

 
1. Lit. to lay oneself out in respect or obedience in front of someone or something. The members of the cult prostrated themselves before their leader. They prostrated themselves before the altar.
2. Fig. to submit to someone's dominance. If you think I'm going to prostrate my self before you and do as you ask, you are wrong. I will not prostrate myself before the high council!
See also: before, prostrate
References in classic literature ?
If I think of touching, even with my finger, the son of Anne of Austria, the true king of this realm of France - if I have not the firm intention of prostrating myself before his throne - if in every idea I may entertain to-morrow, here at Vaux, will not be the most glorious day my king ever enjoyed - may Heaven's lightning blast me where I stand!" Aramis had pronounced these words with his face turned towards the alcove of his own bedroom, where D'Artagnan, seated with his back towards the alcove, could not suspect that any one was lying concealed.
I can't think of another writer whose late novels get so exponentially better (not Faulkner, not Nabokov, not Dickens) or another so savvy I'd gladly keep prostrating myself before, begging to get kicked in the gut over and over for four hundred pages.