intr.v. gen·u·flect·ed, gen·u·flect·ing, gen·u·flects
1. To bend the knee or touch one knee to the floor or ground, as in worship.
2. To be servilely respectful or deferential; grovel.
[Late Latin genūflectere : Latin genū, knee; see genu-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots + Latin flectere, to bend.]
gen′u·flection (-flĕkshən) n.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.