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[pro-strey-shuh n]
See more synonyms for prostration on Thesaurus.com
  1. the act of prostrating.
  2. the state of being prostrated.
  3. extreme mental or emotional depression or dejection: nervous prostration.
  4. extreme physical weakness or exhaustion: heat prostration.
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Origin of prostration

1520–30; < Late Latin prōstrātiōn- (stem of prōstrātiō) a lying prone. See prostrate, -ion
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for prostration

weariness, fatigue, collapse, tiredness, lassitude, powerlessness, abashment, stupefaction, burnout

Examples from the Web for prostration

Historical Examples of prostration

  • Prostration may be great, according to the violence and duration of the attack.

    Dietetics for Nurses

    Fairfax T. Proudfit

  • Prostration of ourselves before God produces a calm and dispassionate frame of mind, and a sense of our accountability.

  • Prostration is the Eastern mode of signifying profound respect, complete submission.

    Ontario Teachers' Manuals: Literature

    Ontario Ministry of Education

  • Prostration following severe shock was what the doctor called it, but it looked to me more like a touch of brain fever.

  • Prostration rapidly increases until death puts an end to the patient's sufferings.

Word Origin and History for prostration


c.1400, "action of prostrating oneself," from Old French prostracion (14c.) or directly from Late Latin prostrationem (nominative prostratio), noun of action from past participle stem of prosternere (see prostrate (v.)); or else a native formation from prostrate (v.). Meaning "weakness, exhaustion, dejection" is from 1650s.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

prostration in Medicine


  1. Total exhaustion or weakness; collapse.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.