Definition of prostrate in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈprästrāt/


1Lying stretched out on the ground with one’s face downward.
Example sentences
  • I don't actually suffer from it in real life, but in dreams I often find myself lying prostrate and petrified on top of a building, afraid to stand up.
  • Sometimes he was on my legs, other times he was stretched out prostrate across my torso.
  • While strolling, I caught sight of a half-naked, deformed figure lying prostrate on the pavement.
prone, lying flat, lying down, stretched out, spread-eagled, sprawling, horizontal, recumbent
rare procumbent
1.1 [predicative] Completely overcome or helpless, especially with illness, distress, or exhaustion: his wife was prostrate with shock
More example sentences
  • So many women would have been hysterical and prostrate with grief by this stage.
overwhelmed, overcome, overpowered, brought to one's knees, stunned, dazed;
speechless, helpless
worn out, exhausted, fatigued, tired out, sapped, dog-tired, spent, drained, debilitated, enervated, laid low;
informal dead, dead beat, dead on one's feet, ready to drop, bushed, frazzled, worn to a frazzle, whacked, pooped
1.2 Botany Growing along the ground.
Example sentences
  • In that area, natural Atriplex cover was very low, with only some prostrate plants growing on creek banks.
  • The duckweeds grow in a prostrate orientation upon the surface of water and rely on the buoyant forces of their environment for support, rather than lignified structures.
  • P. myriophylla is a woody subshrub that forms patches of prostrate or decumbent stems often rooting at the nodes.


[with object]
1 (prostrate oneself) Lay oneself flat on the ground face downward, especially in reverence or submission: she prostrated herself on the bare floor of the church
More example sentences
  • Some of the men had prostrated themselves flat on their faces, arms outstretched towards the Goddess.
  • The natives who came to see them off prostrated themselves on the ground and cried in farewell.
  • Another (even greater) problem was that she was unwilling to submit to her dictates or prostrate herself in abject submission.
throw oneself flat/down, lie down, stretch oneself out;
throw oneself (at someone's feet)
2(Of distress, exhaustion, or illness) reduce (someone) to extreme physical weakness: she was prostrated by a migraine that she could scarcely get up the stairs
More example sentences
  • He never doubted, and gratefully recognized, Mary's own contribution to the device of the joint monarchy, and her death on 27 December 1694 prostrated him for months.
  • She quickly ran up to him in time to catch him in her arms and with horror heard the wild scream of the spirit that racked and prostrated the unhappy man.
  • Drenched in sweat, they are prostrated by fatigue, ‘sucking in hot air like bellows and breathless in the suffocating heat’.
overwhelm, overcome, overpower, bring to one's knees, devastate, debilitate, weaken, enfeeble, enervate, lay low, wear out, exhaust, tire out, drain, sap, wash out, take it out of
informal frazzle, do in, poop


Middle English: from Latin prostratus 'thrown down', past participle of prosternere, from pro- 'before' + sternere 'lay flat'.

Words that rhyme with prostrate

abate, ablate, aerate, ait, await, backdate, bait, bate, berate, castrate, collate, conflate, crate, create, cremate, date, deflate, dictate, dilate, distraite, donate, downstate, eight, elate, equate, estate, fate, fête, fixate, freight, frustrate, gait, gate, gestate, gradate, grate, great, gyrate, hate, hydrate, inflate, innate, interrelate, interstate, irate, Kate, Kuwait, lactate, late, locate, lustrate, mandate, mate, migrate, misdate, misstate, mistranslate, mutate, narrate, negate, notate, orate, ornate, Pate, placate, plate, prate, prorate, pulsate, pupate, quadrate, rate, rotate, sate, sedate, serrate, short weight, skate, slate, spate, spectate, spruit, stagnate, state, straight, strait, Tate, tête-à-tête, Thwaite, translate, translocate, transmigrate, truncate, underrate, understate, underweight, update, uprate, upstate, up-to-date, vacate, vibrate, wait, weight

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: pros·trate

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