- The definition of prostrate is lying face down or bending over in adoration.
An example of prostrate is a person lying face down in front of a religious leader.
- Prostrate is to lie or bend down in adoration.
An example of prostrate is to bow in front of the tabernacle at church.
- lying with the face downward in demonstration of great humility or abject submission
- lying flat, prone, or supine
- thrown or fallen to the ground
- laid low; completely overcome; helpless: prostrate with grief
- in a state of physical exhaustion or weakness
- Bot. growing on the ground; trailing
Origin of prostrateMiddle English prostrat ; from Classical Latin prostratus, past participle of prosternere, to lay flat ; from pro-, before + sternere, to stretch out ; from Indo-European base an unverified form ster- from source strew
transitive verbpros·trat·ed, pros·trat·ing, pros·trates
- To put or throw flat with the face down, as in submission or adoration: “He did not simply sit and meditate, he also knelt down, sometimes even prostrated himself” (Iris Murdoch).
- To cause to lie flat: The wind prostrated the young trees.
- To reduce to extreme weakness or incapacitation; overcome: an illness that prostrated an entire family; a nation that was prostrated by years of civil war.
- Lying face down, as in submission or adoration.
- Lying flat or at full length.
- Reduced to extreme weakness or incapacitation; overcome.
- Botany Growing flat along the ground.
Origin of prostrateMiddle English prostraten, from prostrat, prostrate, from Latin prōstrātus, past participle of prōsternere, to throw down : prō-, forward; see pro–1 + sternere, to spread, cast down; see ster-2 in Indo-European roots.
(third-person singular simple present prostrates, present participle prostrating, simple past and past participle prostrated)
- Prostrate and prostate are often confused, in spelling if not in meaning.
Latin prostratus, past participle of prosternere (“to prostrate").