[ adjective soo-pahyn; noun soo-pahyn ]
See synonyms for: supinesupineness on

  1. lying on the back, face or front upward.

  2. inactive, passive, or inert, especially from indolence or indifference.

  1. (of the hand) having the palm upward.

  1. (in Latin) a noun form derived from verbs, appearing only in the accusative and the dative-ablative, as dictū in mirābile dictū, “wonderful to say.”

  2. (in English) the simple infinitive of a verb preceded by to.

  1. an analogous form in some other language.

Origin of supine

First recorded in 1490–1500, supine is from the Latin word supīnus lying face up, inactive

Other words from supine

  • su·pine·ly, adverb
  • su·pine·ness, noun
  • un·su·pine, adjective

Words that may be confused with supine Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use supine in a sentence

  • Besides, there is another explanation for the supineness that is exhibited towards errors of this description.

  • Of his supineness Pezuela took every advantage, and, having assembled about 4000 men, advanced in the spring upon Potosi.

    Ponce de Leon | William Pilling
  • Perhaps, also, something is due to the difference between Protestant enterprise and Roman Catholic supineness.

    Cedar Creek | Elizabeth Hely Walshe
  • But the supineness of England was the opportunity of France.

  • I often paralleled her neglect to use them with the supineness of the French Commune in 1871.

    The Brothers' War | John Calvin Reed

British Dictionary definitions for supine


adjective(suːˈpaɪn, sjuː-, ˈsuːpaɪn, ˈsjuː-)
  1. lying or resting on the back with the face, palm, etc, upwards

  2. displaying no interest or animation; lethargic

noun(ˈsuːpaɪn, ˈsjuː-)
  1. grammar a noun form derived from a verb in Latin, often used to express purpose with verbs of motion: Abbreviation: sup

Origin of supine

C15: from Latin supīnus related to sub under, up; (in grammatical sense) from Latin verbum supīnum supine word (the reason for this use is unknown)

Derived forms of supine

  • supinely, adverb
  • supineness, noun

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