kowtow


Cross-index


Variants
kow-too, ko-toa, ka-tou, kao-toa

Pronunciation


Morphology


Etymology


Classification


Definition
the Chinese custom of touching the ground with the forehead in the act of prostrating oneself, as an expression of extreme respect, submission, or worship.




Derivatives


Usage



Quotations
1804 BARROW TTOtJ. Chino (1806) 213 The Chinese were determined they should be kept in the constant practice of the koo-too, or ceremony of ~enuflection and prostration.
1817 ELLIS J,ni. Emb. Ch,no 213 Lord Macartney's performance of the kow-tou was asserted 1845 Athenwum 22Feb.
193 He felt some reluctance when called upon to perform the kow-tow.
1864 D F. RENNIE Brit Arms N China zJz note, The kowtow IS the Chinese obeisance indicatin extreme respect.
1898 W. G. GULLAND Chinese Porc. [. p. xxiv, Lord Amherst..would not perform the kow-tow (kneeling) before the emperor.
1920 Blackw. Mag. Au$: zz511 The conventional bowing or kow-.tow position.
i96fJ List~er zljSept' 44:J12 -N ot~veffthe emlssonesof the Pope could eacope the Great Kow-tow-the ceremony involving the three kneelings and nine prostrations before the throne of the Chinese Emperor. b. fig. All act of obsequious respect.
1834 Fraser's Mag. X. ZJO Thus speaks the high-priest of fashion, and the beau monde perform the koo-too with all
imaginable submission.
1865 CARLYLEFredk. Gt. (187z) V[.XV(. ix. zJ5 Voltaire from of old had faithfully done his kowtoos to this King of the Sciences. 1905 [see HEWGAG].
1972 Times ZI Oct. (Hongkong Suppl.) p. il6 Peking has referred officially to Hongkong's shameful colonial statu uonly"once since President .Nixon's dignified kowtow and the be1ated entry of the people's republic into the United~ations.

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