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[ri-kuhm-buh nt] /rɪˈkʌm bənt/
lying down; reclining; leaning.
inactive; idle.
Zoology, Botany. noting a part that leans or reposes upon its surface of origin.
a recumbent person, animal, plant, etc.
Origin of recumbent
1765-75; < Latin recumbent- (stem of recumbēns), present participle of recumbere to lie back, equivalent to re- re- + cumb-, akin to cubāre to lie down + -ent- -ent
Related forms
recumbency, recumbence, noun
recumbently, adverb
unrecumbent, adjective
unrecumbently, adverb
1. prone, supine; prostrate; inclined. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for recumbent
Historical Examples
  • As he approached the recumbent figure he yelled a panted "Hi, there!"

    The Woman-Haters Joseph C. Lincoln
  • "Truss him up, Kenneth," he commanded, pointing to the recumbent figure.

    The Tavern Knight Rafael Sabatini
  • The repulsive task of searching the recumbent figure now lay before him.

    The Vagrant Duke George Gibbs
  • My eyes, accustomed to obscurity, traced an indistinct and recumbent form.

    Romance Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer
  • The recumbent figure in bed seemed to have actually succumbed to sleep.

  • He raised the recumbent figure to a couch, and then looked at the wound.

    An Old Meerschaum David Christie Murray
  • Jackson, riding by a recumbent group, spoke from the saddle.

    The Long Roll Mary Johnston
  • There was probably a recumbent figure on the top, but it has long since disappeared.

    Ely Cathedral Anonymous
  • It represented a recumbent Sappho playing on a nine-stringed lyre.

    Manasseh Maurus Jokai
  • When this fancy occurred, I started from my recumbent posture.

British Dictionary definitions for recumbent


lying down; reclining
(of a part or organ) leaning or resting against another organ or the ground: a recumbent stem
(of a fold in a rock formation) in which the axial plane is nearly horizontal
Derived Forms
recumbence, recumbency, noun
recumbently, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from Latin recumbere to lie back, from re- + cumbere to lie
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 recumbent

1705, from Latin recumbentem (nominative recumbens), present participle of recumbere "recline, lie down, lie down again;" of things, "to fall, sink down, settle down," from re- "back" (see re-) + -cumbere "to lie down" (see succumb). Related: Recumbency (1640s). A verb, recumb, has been attempted in English occasionally since 1670s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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recumbent in Medicine

recumbent re·cum·bent (rĭ-kŭm'bənt)
Lying down, especially in a position of comfort; reclining.

re·cum'bence or re·cum'ben·cy n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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