kowtow kowtow  /ˈkaʊ ˈtaʊ/


  1. (n) a former Chinese custom of touching the ground with the forehead as a sign of respect or submission
  2. (v) bend the knees and bow in a servile manner
  3. (v) try to gain favor by cringing or flattering


  1. She very much had to kowtow to them.
  2. Then she bounces her head in a pert little Chinese kowtow and the hoarse, sweet husk of her voice sounds hauntingly soft.
  3. Not that the film should kowtow to ignorance--only that it might have streamlined the dramatis personae, the better to concentrate on the plot.


  • Some Foreign Telcos Reportedly Defied NSA Phone Spying Order

    T-Mobile and Verizon reportedly refused to kowtow to the National Security Agency's demand to collect all phone call records. According to the Wall Street Journal , because T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless are owned by European parent companies, they were able to successfully refuse the NSA's court order.
    on June 14, 2013     Source: TechCrunch

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definition of kowtow


  1. "I would hope that we could have good relations with China both economically and politically, but at the same time not pre-emptively kowtow to them on human rights whether it's in Tibet or China more generally," Labor lawmaker Michael Danby, who...
    on May 15, 2007 By: Michael Danby Source: Reuters India

  2. Dr Norman said "you can't save whales by killing them" and the proposal was a "mistake." "We will soon learn whether our Government will stand up for our wishes or kowtow to Tokyo."
    on Jun 20, 2010 By: Russel Norman Source: National Business Review

  3. Jindal, a potential 2012 presidential candidate, told the Republican audience he would "not be brow beaten on this, and I will not kowtow to their correctness." "My answer to the question is very simple: 'Do you want the president to fail?'...
    on Mar 25, 2009 By: Bobby Jindal Source: CNN

Word of the Day
affectation affectation
/ˌæ fɛk ˈteɪ ʃən /