Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1800-1900
Language: Chinese
Origin: ke tou 'to hit your head'; because when you bow very low you hit your head on the floor

kowtow

verb
     
kow‧tow [intransitive] informal
to be too eager to obey or be polite to someone in authority
kowtow to
We will not kowtow to the government.

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