Definition of prostrate in English:

prostrate

Line breaks: pros|trate

adjective

Pronunciation: /ˈprɒstreɪt
 
/
1Lying stretched out on the ground with one’s face downwards: there was a man praying before an idol, lying prostrate they surged forward around the prostrate figure on the ground
More 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.
Synonyms
prone, lying flat, lying down, flat, stretched out, spreadeagled, sprawling, horizontal, recumbent, on one's front
1.1 [predic.] Completely overcome or helpless, especially with 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.
Synonyms
overwhelmed, overcome, overpowered, brought to one's knees, crushed, stunned, dazed; speechless, helpless, paralysed, laid low, impotentworn out, exhausted, fatigued, tired out, overtired, weary, sapped, dog-tired, spent, drained, played out, debilitated, enervated, low
informal all in, done (in/up), dead, dead beat, dead tired, dead on one's feet, ready to drop, fagged out, bushed, whacked, worn to a frazzle, burnt-out
British informal knackered
North American informal pooped
2 Botany Growing along the ground: mats of prostrate herbs can be used to break up expanses of soil
More 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.

verb

Pronunciation: /prɒˈstreɪt
 
/
[with object] Back to top  
1 (prostrate oneself) Throw oneself flat on the ground so as to be lying face downwards, 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.
Synonyms
throw oneself flat, throw oneself down, lie down, stretch oneself out, bow low, throw oneself at someone's feet
2Reduce (someone) to extreme physical weakness: she was so prostrated by migraine that she could scarcely totter up the stairs to bed
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’.
Synonyms
overwhelm, overcome, overpower, bring someone to their knees, crush, devastate, make helpless, paralyse, lay low, make powerless, debilitate, incapacitate, weaken, enfeeble, devitalize, enervate, handicap, immobilize, hamstring, make impotent, wear out, exhaust, tire out, fatigue, weary, make weary, drain, sap, wash out, take it out of, tax, overtax, undermine
informal knacker, whack, frazzle, do in, knock out, fag out
North American informal poop

Origin

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

More definitions of prostrate

Definition of prostrate in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day crowdsource
Pronunciation: ˈkraʊdsɔːs
verb
obtain (information) by enlisting help of many people…