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[adjective soo-pahyn; noun soo-pahyn] /adjective suˈpaɪn; noun ˈsu paɪn/
lying on the back, face or front upward.
inactive, passive, or inert, especially from indolence or indifference.
(of the hand) having the palm upward.
(in Latin) a noun form derived from verbs, appearing only in the accusative and the dative-ablative, as dictū in mirābile dictū, “wonderful to say.”.
(in English) the simple infinitive of a verb preceded by to.
an analogous form in some other language.
Origin of supine
1490-1500; < Latin supīnus lying face up, inactive
Related forms
supinely, adverb
supineness, noun
unsupine, adjective
Can be confused
prone, prostate, prostrate, supine. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for supinely
Historical Examples
  • He had not the least intention of supinely yielding to her foolish belief—it could not be other than that—that she disliked him.

    The Eddy Clarence L. Cullen
  • Weakly, supinely, slavishly, America was submitting to British insolence.

    The Messenger Elizabeth Robins
  • Why forget so supinely His failures to remedy the easily remediable?

    Damn! Henry Louis Mencken
  • For weeks we have endured, supinely on our backs, the tyranny of Mrs. Van Asterbilt, the matron of this House.

    The Eternal Boy Owen Johnson
  • She looks to me for help and protection, and I supinely sit and grieve when I should be up and doing!

    The Sapphire Cross George Manville Fenn
  • The Chinese had supinely permitted this dangerous power to grow up among their tributaries on the north.

  • If she supinely resigned herself to the current of circumstance, where would she be carried?

    A Man's Woman Frank Norris
  • I knew how supinely Appleboro lay in the hollow of a hard hand.

  • Women of Kansas, all is lost if you sit down and supinely listen to politicians and candidates.

  • We have, I say, supinely permitted each insult to pass unchallenged.

    The Eternal Boy Owen Johnson
British Dictionary definitions for supinely


adjective (suːˈpaɪn; sjuː-; ˈsuːpaɪn; ˈsjuː-)
lying or resting on the back with the face, palm, etc, upwards
displaying no interest or animation; lethargic
noun (ˈsuːpaɪn; ˈsjuː-)
(grammar) a noun form derived from a verb in Latin, often used to express purpose with verbs of motion sup
Derived Forms
supinely, adverb
supineness, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Latin supīnus related to sub under, up; (in grammatical sense) from Latin verbum supīnum supine word (the reason for this use is unknown)
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 supinely



c.1500, from Latin supinus "turned or thrown backwards, inactive, indolent," related to sub "under" (see sub-). The grammatical use for "Latin verbal noun formed from the past participle stem" is from Late Latin supinum verbum "supine verb," perhaps so called because, though furnished with a noun case ending, it "falls back" on the verb.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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supinely in Medicine

supine su·pine (sōō-pīn', sōō'pīn')

  1. Lying on the back; having the face upward.

  2. Having the palm of the hand or sole of the foot upward.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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