• synonyms


verb (used with object), pros·trat·ed, pros·trat·ing.
  1. to cast (oneself) face down on the ground in humility, submission, or adoration.
  2. to lay flat, as on the ground.
  3. to throw down level with the ground.
  4. to overthrow, overcome, or reduce to helplessness.
  5. to reduce to physical weakness or exhaustion.
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  1. lying flat or at full length, as on the ground.
  2. lying face down on the ground, as in token of humility, submission, or adoration.
  3. overthrown, overcome, or helpless: a country left prostrate by natural disasters.
  4. physically weak or exhausted.
  5. submissive.
  6. utterly dejected or depressed; disconsolate.
  7. Botany. (of a plant or stem) lying flat on the ground.
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Origin of prostrate

1350–1400; (adj.) Middle English prostrat < Latin prōstrātus, past participle of prōsternere to throw prone, equivalent to prō- pro-1 + strā-, variant stem of sternere to stretch out + -tus past participle suffix; (v.) Middle English prostraten, derivative of the adj.
Related formspros·tra·tive [pros-truh-tiv] /ˈprɒs trə tɪv/, adjectivepros·tra·tor, nounun·pros·trat·ed, adjective
Can be confusedprone prostate prostrate supineprostate prostrate


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Examples from the Web for prostrated

Historical Examples

  • Prostrated with grief though she was, she consented to see me, and I was accordingly admitted to her presence.

    A Cabinet Secret

    Guy Boothby

  • Prostrated, exposed, and permanently expelled from ill-gotten power, the Oligarchy will cease to exist as a political combination.

  • Prostrated in spirit, I sunk down among the rocks, covering my face with my hands.

  • Prostrated thus, he sought relief from his affliction in the service of the continental army.

  • Prostrated by the discovery, the parents sat down in helpless silence.

    The King of Schnorrers

    Israel Zangwill

British Dictionary definitions for prostrated


adjective (ˈprɒstreɪt)
  1. lying with the face downwards, as in submission
  2. exhausted physically or emotionally
  3. helpless or defenceless
  4. (of a plant) growing closely along the ground
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verb (prɒˈstreɪt) (tr)
  1. to bow or cast (oneself) down, as in submission
  2. to lay or throw down flat, as on the ground
  3. to make helpless or defenceless
  4. to make exhausted
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Derived Formsprostration, noun

Word Origin

C14: from Latin prōsternere to throw to the ground, from prō- before + sternere to lay low
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

Word Origin and History for prostrated



mid-14c., "lying face-down" (in submission, worship, etc.), from Latin prostratus, past participle of prosternere "strew in front, throw down," from pro- "forth" (see pro-) + sternere "to spread out," from PIE root *stere- "to spread, extend, stretch out" (see structure (n.)). Figurative use from 1590s. General sense of "laid out, knocked flat" is from 1670s.

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early 15c., prostraten, "prostrate oneself," from prostrate (adj.). Related: Prostrated; prostrating.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

prostrated in Science


  1. Growing flat along the ground. Creeping jenny, pennyroyal, and many species of ivy have a prostrate growth habit.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.