Word of the Day

Friday, July 28, 2000

recumbent

\rih-KUM-bunt\ , adjective;
1.
Reclining; lying down.
2.
Resting; inactive; idle.
Quotes:
While the lovers' intricately carved tombs -- with their host of angels surrounding the recumbent figures of the deceased -- draw crowds, the soaring space of the Gothic cathedral and the peaceful abbey cloisters seem to swallow and silence the busloads of visitors.
-- Jill Knight Weinberger, "Monuments To Love's Labors", New York Times, August 15, 1999
Winser was still recumbent but in his frenzy he was trying to writhe his way back onto his knees, kicking and twisting like a felled animal, struggling to wedge his heels under him, half rising, only to topple back again onto his side.
-- John le Carré, Single & Single
Mr. Bloom, semi-recumbent on a reclining chair, speaks in long sentences, interrupting himself with long parenthetical remarks that contain parentheses of their own.
-- Richard Bernstein, "A Perennial Scrapper Takes On God and the Bible", New York Times, October 24, 1990
Origin:
Recumbent comes from the present participle of Latin recumbere, "lie back, to recline," from re-, "back" + -cumbere "to lie."
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