Definitions for kotow
a former Chinese custom of touching the ground with the forehead as a sign of respect or submission
fawn, toady, truckle, bootlick, kowtow, kotow, suck up(verb)
try to gain favor by cringing or flattering
"He is always kowtowing to his boss"
the prostration made by mandarins and others to their superiors, either as homage or worship, by knocking the forehead on the ground. There are degrees in the rite, the highest being expressed by three knockings
to perform the kotow