What does it mean to genuflect?

If you've ever watched a dramatic movie about knights and kings, you've likely seen one of the knights genuflect, or kneel, before the monarch. To genuflect means to bend at least one knee in reverence or worship. It also means to act in a submissive or servile way.

In The Glass Castle, by Jeannette Walls, Jeannette attends the funeral for her grandmother Erma:

Erma's death brought out Mom's pious side. ... Mom went up in front of the mourners, genuflected with a grand sweep, and then kissed Erma's cheek so vigorously that you could hear the puckering sound throughout the chapel.