bring (somebody/something) to (its/their) knees


1. to cause a person or organisation/thing to surrender or submit






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the bombing brought the city to its knees

Check Icon Analysis

 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.

Check Icon Social Examples (Advance)

  1. They need to discipline that child. Every time she has a tantrum, it brings the whole family to its knees.
  2. The bank insisted on unreasonable repayments which brought hundreds of families to their knees.

Check Icon Professional Examples (Basic)

  1. The sudden hike in Council rates brought many traders to their knees.
  2. The strike brought airlines to their knees and forced them into negotiations.

Check Icon Further Suggestions

fall in line roll over

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