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noun su·pine \ˈsü-ˌpīn\

Definition of supine

  1. 1 :  a Latin verbal noun having an accusative of purpose in -um and an ablative of specification in -u

  2. 2 :  an English infinitive with to

Origin and Etymology of supine

Middle English supyn, from Late Latin supinum, from Latin, neuter of supinus, adjective

First Known Use: 15th century

Other Grammar and Linguistics Terms



adjective su·pine \su̇-ˈpīn, attributive also ˈsü-ˌpīn\

Simple Definition of supine

  • : lying on your back with your face upward

  • : willing to be controlled by others : weak or passive

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of supine

  1. 1a :  lying on the back or with the face upwardb :  marked by supination

  2. 2 :  exhibiting indolent or apathetic inertia or passivity; especially :  mentally or morally slack

  3. 3 archaic :  leaning or sloping backward


play \su̇-ˈpīn-lē\ adverb


play \-ˈpīn-nəs\ noun

Examples of supine in a sentence

  1. He was lying supine on the couch.

  2. a supine legislature that is afraid to take action

Origin and Etymology of supine

Middle English suppyne, from Latin supinus; akin to Latin sub under, up to — more at up

First Known Use: 15th century

Synonym Discussion of supine

prone, supine, prostrate, recumbent mean lying down. prone implies a position with the front of the body turned toward the supporting surface <push-ups require a prone position>. supine implies lying on one's back and suggests inertness or abjectness <lying supine on the couch>. prostrate implies lying full-length as in submission, defeat, or physical collapse <a runner fell prostrate at the finish line>. recumbent implies the posture of one sleeping or resting <a patient comfortably recumbent in a hospital bed>.

inactive, idle, inert, passive, supine mean not engaged in work or activity. inactive applies to anyone or anything not in action or in operation or at work <on inactive status as an astronaut> <inactive accounts>. idle applies to persons that are not busy or occupied or to their powers or their implements <workers were idle in the fields>. inert as applied to things implies powerlessness to move or to affect other things; as applied to persons it suggests an inherent or habitual indisposition to activity <inert ingredients in drugs> <an inert citizenry>. passive implies immobility or lack of normally expected response to an external force or influence and often suggests deliberate submissiveness or self-control <passive resistance>. supine applies only to persons and commonly implies abjectness or indolence <a supine willingness to play the fool>.

Medical Dictionary


play play
adjective su·pine \su̇-ˈpīn, ˈsü-ˌpīn\

Medical Definition of supine

  1. 1:  lying on the back or with the face upward

  2. 2:  marked by supination

Learn More about supine

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to depart quickly

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