Act in an excessively subservient manner.
“She didn’t have to kowtow to a boss.”
Grovel to, be obsequious to, be servile to, be sycophantic to, fawn over/on, cringe to, bow and scrape to, toady to, truckle to, abase oneself before, humble oneself to.
Kneel and touch the ground with the forehead in worship or submission as part of Chinese custom.
Prostrate oneself before, bow (down) to/ before, genuflect to/before, do/make obeisance to/before, fall on one’s knees before, kneel before
“They kowtowed to the Emperor.”
(Definition courtesy of Wikipedia)
Kowtow is a Chinese word that we Westerners and, yes, we Americans are starting to learn the true meaning of. It means to bow down before someone, to grovel, to be subservient. Unfortunately, we are doing it increasingly towards the inventors of the word. Read more To ‘Kowtow’ – An Unfortunate New Habit Imported From China