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genuflection

[jen-yoo-flek-shuh n]
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noun
  1. an act of bending the knee or touching it to the ground in reverence or worship.
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Also especially British, gen·u·flex·ion.

Origin of genuflection

First recorded in 1520–30, genuflection is from the Medieval Latin word genūflexiōn- (stem of genūflexiō). See genuflect, -ion
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

obeisance, bending, kowtow, nod, arch, curve, curvature, turn, arc, bend, salaam, bob, angle, curtsy, round, inclination, turning, flection, flexure

Examples from the Web for genuflection

Historical Examples

  • Ixtlilxochitli made a second genuflection, and resumed his way.

    The Harlequin Opal, Vol. 2 (of 3)

    Fergus Hume

  • It would seem that such a genuflection must be, of necessity, ridiculous.

  • The porter greeted each sovereign with a genuflection, the lowest being the twelfth.

    The Carpet from Bagdad

    Harold MacGrath

  • A bend of the body and a genuflection were the appropriate answer of the Ethiopian to these observations.

    The Talisman

    Sir Walter Scott

  • Whereupon the pony went down on its knees in the sawdust in a genuflection to the man with the whip.


Word Origin and History for genuflection

n.

early 15c., from Middle French génuflexion and directly from Late Latin genuflectionem (nominative genuflexio) "bending of the knee," noun of action from past participle stem of genuflectere "genuflect," from Latin genu "knee" (see knee (n.)) + flectere "to bend" (see flexible).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper