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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 of prostrate
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. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for prostrate
Historical Examples
  • prostrate yourselves, then, before the Most High, and secure his favor by the practice of every virtue.

    The Empire of Russia John S. C. Abbott
  • prostrate before Emmanuel's throne, they repeated their confession.

    Bunyan James Anthony Froude
  • prostrate between two rocks lying across the path, her wild flight came to an end.

    The Gilded Man Clifford Smyth
  • prostrate before the King, he seemingly lived but for his smile.

  • prostrate she lay, the blood stream pouring over the real lord of this harem.

    Bakemono Yashiki (The Haunted House) James S. De Benneville
  • prostrate she fell on the floor; but hearing a waiter say, 'Up stairs, madam, you may have a room to yourself.'

    Camilla Fanny Burney
  • Procumbent or prostrate, lying flat on the ground from the first.

  • prostrate upon my knees I daily prayed for deliverance; but my prayers were not heard.

    Letters from Spain Joseph Blanco White
  • prostrate herbs, with whorled leaves and small whitish axillary flowers without petals, in summer.

    The Plants of Michigan Henry Allan Gleason
  • prostrate the Slave Oligarchy, and the door will be open to all generous principles.

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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