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What is the opposite of “kowtowing”?

What is the antonym of “kowtowing”?

The antonyms of kowtowing are defying, rebelling, and disobeying. These antonyms convey a sense of resistance or opposition to authority, rules, or expectations.

Brief Definitions of the Antonym(s)

Learn when and how to use these words with these examples!


Openly resisting or challenging authority, rules, or expectations.


The students were defying the school's dress code by wearing hats and hoodies in class.


Actively opposing or fighting against authority, rules, or expectations.


The citizens were rebelling against the government's decision to raise taxes by staging protests and strikes.


Refusing to follow orders, commands, or rules.


The children were disobeying their parents' instructions by staying up late and watching TV instead of doing homework.

How are these antonyms different from each other?

  • 1Defying implies a more active and confrontational resistance than kowtowing.
  • 2Rebelling suggests a more organized and collective opposition than kowtowing.
  • 3Disobeying is a more general term that can apply to any situation where rules or orders are not followed.

Good things to know

  • 1Express Opposition: Use defying, rebelling, and disobeying to express disagreement or resistance to authority or rules.
  • 2Discuss Social Issues: Incorporate these antonyms in discussions about social justice, civil rights, or political activism.
  • 3Enrich Writing: Utilize these antonyms in narratives to create tension, conflict, and character development.

Remember this!

The antonyms of kowtowing convey a sense of resistance or opposition to authority, rules, or expectations. Defying implies active confrontation, rebelling suggests organized opposition, and disobeying is a general term for not following rules. Use these words to express opposition, discuss social issues, and enrich writing with tension and conflict.

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