1. to cause a person or organisation/thing to surrender or submit
the bombing brought the city to its knees
When you bring somebody (or something) down to their knees, you force them to submit or surrender to your power or control. When you bring somebody or something to their knees you make them powerless or force them to give into your demands or needs. This idiomatic expression can be used in a dramatic context or to explain or discuss imbalances in power in social or professional situations.