Definition of prostrate in English:


Line breaks: pros|trate


Pronunciation: /ˈprɒstreɪt
  • 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.


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.
    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’.
    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


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 astrogation
Pronunciation: ˌastrə(ʊ)ˈgeɪʃ(ə)n
(in science fiction) navigation in outer space