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prostrate

[pros-treyt] /ˈprɒs treɪt/
verb (used with object), prostrated, prostrating.
1.
to cast (oneself) face down on the ground in humility, submission, or adoration.
2.
to lay flat, as on the ground.
3.
to throw down level with the ground.
4.
to overthrow, overcome, or reduce to helplessness.
5.
to reduce to physical weakness or exhaustion.
adjective
6.
lying flat or at full length, as on the ground.
7.
lying face down on the ground, as in token of humility, submission, or adoration.
8.
overthrown, overcome, or helpless:
a country left prostrate by natural disasters.
9.
physically weak or exhausted.
10.
11.
utterly dejected or depressed; disconsolate.
12.
Botany. (of a plant or stem) lying flat on the ground.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; (adj.) Middle English prostrat < Latin prōstrātus, past participle of prōsternere to throw prone, equivalent to prō- pro-1 + strā-, variant stem of sternere to stretch out + -tus past participle suffix; (v.) Middle English prostraten, derivative of the adj.
Related forms
prostrative
[pros-truh-tiv] /ˈprɒs trə tɪv/ (Show IPA),
adjective
prostrator, noun
unprostrated, adjective
Can be confused
prone, prostate, prostrate, supine.
prostate, prostrate.
Synonyms
6. prone, supine, recumbent.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for prostrate
  • To develop a more prostrate form, cut vertical stems back to the plant's main stem.
  • He would be climbing over the prostrate stems of primitive forest trees.
  • Silently, they prostrate themselves before the abbot, while he scribbles down their new monastic names.
  • There was a quick dance of their lithe grey-figured bodies over the clumsy, prostrate figure.
  • And equally the vine, if it were not twined round the elm, would lie prostrate on the ground.
  • It had its origin in the necessities of disordered finance, prostrate commerce, and ruined credit.
  • He prescribes that the monks prostrate themselves at the end of each psalm in the divine office.
  • Each limb, each muscle, each fibre of the huge prostrate body was twisted and turned in every direction.
  • Tread silently round the hapless couch of the poor prostrate soul.
  • Explains why she did not have to prostrate before him.
British Dictionary definitions for prostrate

prostrate

adjective (ˈprɒstreɪt)
1.
lying with the face downwards, as in submission
2.
exhausted physically or emotionally
3.
helpless or defenceless
4.
(of a plant) growing closely along the ground
verb (transitive) (prɒˈstreɪt)
5.
to bow or cast (oneself) down, as in submission
6.
to lay or throw down flat, as on the ground
7.
to make helpless or defenceless
8.
to make exhausted
Derived Forms
prostration, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Latin prōsternere to throw to the ground, from prō- before + sternere to lay low
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for prostrate
adj.

mid-14c., "lying face-down" (in submission, worship, etc.), from Latin prostratus, past participle of prosternere "strew in front, throw down," from pro- "forth" (see pro-) + sternere "to spread out," from PIE root *stere- "to spread, extend, stretch out" (see structure (n.)). Figurative use from 1590s. General sense of "laid out, knocked flat" is from 1670s.

v.

early 15c., prostraten, "prostrate oneself," from prostrate (adj.). Related: Prostrated; prostrating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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prostrate in Science
prostrate
  (prŏs'trāt')   
Growing flat along the ground. Creeping jenny, pennyroyal, and many species of ivy have a prostrate growth habit.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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