• synonyms


  1. elongated along the polar diameter, as a spheroid generated by the revolution of an ellipse about its longer axis (opposed to oblate).
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Origin of prolate

1685–95; < Latin prōlātus, past participle of prōferre to bring forward, extend; see pro-1, oblate1
Related formspro·late·ly, adverbpro·late·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for prolate

Historical Examples

  • The prolate or lemon-like shape is caused by the gravitative pull of the earth, balanced by the centrifugal whirl.

    Pioneers of Science

    Oliver Lodge

  • Mr. Murphy invites attention and objection to some assertions, as that the earth is prolate, not oblate.

  • The immediate inference from this was that, the degree diminishing with increasing latitude, the earth must be a prolate spheroid.

  • A few stars now had pierced the blue, and in the east there shone brightly a prolate moon.

    The War in the Air

    Herbert George Wells

British Dictionary definitions for prolate


  1. having a polar diameter of greater length than the equatorial diameterCompare oblate 1
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Derived Formsprolately, adverbprolateness, noun

Word Origin

C17: from Latin prōferre to enlarge
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