- The definition of supine is laying on the back facing upward or showing a feeling of indifference.
- An example of a supine action is someone lying on her back.
- An example of a supine reaction is not caring when someone is injured.
- lying on the back, face upward
- with the palm upward or away from the body: said of the hand
- Old Poet. leaning or sloping backward
- mentally or morally inactive; sluggish; listless; passive
Origin of supineClassical Latin supinus, probably akin to sub-: see sub-
- a Latin verbal noun formed from the stem of the past participle and having only an accusative and an ablative form
- an infinitive in English preceded by to
- Lying on the back or having the face upward.
- Having the palm upward. Used of the hand.
- Marked by or showing lethargy, passivity, or blameworthy indifference: “No other colony showed such supine, selfish helplessness in allowing her own border citizens to be mercilessly harried” (Theodore Roosevelt).
In Latin grammar, a verbal noun used in only a few syntactic constructions and occurring in only two cases, an accusative in -tum or -sum and an ablative in -tū or -sū. The accusative form of the supine is sometimes considered to be the fourth principal part of the Latin verb.
Origin of supineMiddle English supin, Latin verbal noun, from Late Latin supīnum (verbum), (verb) lying on its back, (verb) going back, neuter of Latin supīnus; see upo in Indo-European roots.
(comparative more supine, superlative most supine)
- (grammar) A type of verbal noun.