Word of the Day: Kowtow

kowtow kow-tow / kou-tou, koutou   noun 1. an act of fawning; an act showing compliance or submission The WHO’s [World Health Organization’s] continued exclusion of Taiwan is a kowtow to the Chinese Communist Party, who refuse to acknowledge Taiwan as the independent nation that it is. “Carter pens letter calling for Taiwan to join the WHO”, buddycarter.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=9209, May 20, 2022   2. the former Chinese custom of touching one’s forehead to the ground as a sign of worship, respect or submission The Chinese emperor as the ‘Son of Heaven’ performed a kowtow to the heavens from as early as the Zhou dynasty onwards. “The Kowtow – Bowing low to acknowledge respect”, www.chinasage.info/kowtow.htm, accessed January 2, 2023   verb 1. to seek favor through submissive or flattering behavior; to fawn She felt that he was praising her, too, and blushed; certainly she had done all she could with his intractable friends, and had made a special point of kowtowing to the men. From “Howard’s End” by E. M. Forster, 1879 – 1970   2. to touch the forehead to the ground as a sign of worship, respect or submission particularly done as a former Chinese custom The worshipers burned incense, bowed and kowtowed to the white marble statue of Chairman Mao. Li Guang, “Burning Incense and Kowtowing to Chairman Mao and President Xi”, ‘Bitter Winter’, bitterwinter.org/burning-incense-and-kowtowing-to-chairman-mao, December 14, 2019