prone

adjective
\ ˈprōn How to pronounce prone (audio) \

Definition of prone

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : having a tendency or inclination : being likely often used with to prone to forget names His relatives are prone to heart disease. Those batteries are prone to corrosion. a process that's prone to error … a great quarterback prone to the occasional, inevitable mistake.— John McGrath This means the results should be interpreted cautiously, as smaller sample sizes are prone to being influenced by chance.nhs.uk often used in combination accident-pronea drought-prone region
2a : having the front or ventral surface of a body facing downward : lying with the chest and stomach positioned downward a patient placed in a prone position The victim was lying prone in the street.
b : lying flat or prostrate prone stems

prone

verb
proned; proning; prones

Definition of prone (Entry 2 of 2)

1 transitive, medical : to place (oneself or another person) in a prone position with the chest and stomach facing downward especially to increase blood oxygenation Ventilated patients are typically proned for 16 hours, but at Mass General, Dr. [C. Corey] Hardin said, some are proned for 24 or 48 hours.— Pam Belluck If patients are alert, they can turn, or prone, themselves every couple hours. If they're ventilated, it could take a team of up to half a dozen health care workers 20 minutes to carefully prone a patient, who might then stay on their stomach for up to 24 hours.— Mallory Moench — see also proning entry 1
2a transitive : to cause or order (a person) to lie flat on the ground with the face and stomach facing downward They were proned and handcuffed. He was ordered to prone himself. often used with out … [Sergeant Jeremy] Glass said handcuffing in the prone position is the method that is taught under the state's Basic Law Enforcement Training standards. …"Subjects end up being proned out in about 60% of physical force encounters …," Glass said.— John HendersonHumboldt County Sheriff's Office Lt. Steve Knight said deputies found the man …. Two deputies drew their firearms and "proned him out at gunpoint," Knight said … .— Luke Ramseth
b intransitive : to lie flat on one's stomach on the ground usually used with out He immediately proned out when told to do so.

Other Words from prone

Adjective

prone adverb
pronely adverb
pronely positioned lying pronely
proneness \ ˈprōn-​nəs How to pronounce prone (audio) \ noun
proneness to jealousy accident-proneness

Synonyms for prone

Synonyms: Adjective

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Choose the Right Synonym for prone

Adjective

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

synonyms see in addition liable

The Difference Between Prone, Supine, and Prostrate

In literal use, prone and supine indicate contrasting positions of the body: a person lying prone is facing downward while a person lying supine is face up.

Both prone and supine also have meanings that have nothing to do with physical position. Supine, in keeping with the image of one lying comfortably idle, can be applied to those who are willing to be controlled by others, or who show mental or moral slackness, as in "supine obedience" or "supine inaction."

Prone is used in the sense of "having a tendency or inclination," as in "prone to worry" or "accident-prone." This usage is similar to such words as apt, liable, or likely (as in "apt to be late"), but in many instances prone implies a vulnerability to attack or damaging influence, in keeping with the image of one lying face down and unable to see what is approaching.

The word prostrate too has meanings to do with body position. It is used with the very specific meaning of "stretched out with face on the ground in adoration or submission," but is also used simply to mean "lying flat." In figurative use, prostrate means "completely overcome and lacking vitality, will, or power to rise," as in "prostrate in fear."

So while prone, supine, and prostrate have specific meanings with regard to body position, they also come with situational connotations in many cases: prone suggests exposure or vulnerability; supine connotes a position of weakness or passivity; and prostrate implies submission in the face of being overcome.

Examples of prone in a Sentence

Adjective Hull then corralled the rebound and shoveled the puck past the left arm and leg of the prone Hasek with his forehand, touching off a wild on-ice celebration. — Michael Farber, Sports Illustrated, 28 June 1999 I too have been prone on my couch this week, a victim of the common cold. — Flannery O'Connor, letter, 20 Mar. 1961 My almond tree lies prone across the court, blown down by a gale. — Conrad Aiken, letter, 3 Oct. 1930 he was prone to emotional outbursts under stress quickly subdue the suspect and get him into a prone position
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Musk is prone to brash statements on Twitter, something that has drawn scrutiny by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Reed Albergotti, Washington Post, 13 May 2022 As will treating with oral antibiotics if your doctor thinks the wound was contaminated and prone to infection. Dr. Michael Daignault, USA TODAY, 12 May 2022 Pilatus was a fearsome place, prone to otherworldly storms, and spirits were the only way to explain what defied logic. New York Times, 12 May 2022 Trying a hair oil can be daunting for those with fine or oily prone hair, but Verb Ghost Oil is a super lightweight formula. The Salt Lake Tribune, 11 May 2022 Zimbabwe has become increasingly prone to powerful storms over the past few years. Tonderayi Mukeredzi, The Christian Science Monitor, 11 May 2022 The comics in the 515 can be a proud bunch, prone to the odd clique and gripe over stage time. Lee Keeler, SPIN, 10 May 2022 That's ideal for skin like mine, which can easily be agitated and prone to dryness after harsher exfoliating treatments. Talia Gutierrez, Allure, 4 May 2022 The next two most twister-prone counties -- Colquitt and Laurens -- have seen 34 and 33 tornadoes each, respectively, over the past 70 years. Mandi Albright, ajc, 3 May 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'prone.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of prone

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1971, in the meaning defined at sense 2b

History and Etymology for prone

Adjective

Middle English, from Latin pronus bent forward, tending; akin to Latin pro forward — more at for

Verb

derivative of prone entry 1

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Time Traveler for prone

Time Traveler

The first known use of prone was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near prone

pronator

prone

prone float

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Statistics for prone

Last Updated

17 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Prone.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/prone. Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for prone

prone

adjective
\ ˈprōn How to pronounce prone (audio) \

Kids Definition of prone

1 : likely to be or act a certain way Her dog is prone to laziness.
2 : lying with the front of the body facing downward

prone

adjective
\ ˈprōn How to pronounce prone (audio) \

Medical Definition of prone

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: having the front or ventral surface of a body facing downward : lying with the chest and stomach positioned downward a patient placed in a prone position

prone

verb
proned; proning

Medical Definition of prone (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to place (oneself or another person) in a prone position with the chest and stomach facing downward especially to increase blood oxygenation One of the interesting things they noticed as they analyzed the data was that patients with COVID-19 who were "proned" had a much higher chance of survival than patients who stayed on their backs.— Nancy Burns-Fusaro, The Westerly (Rhode Island) Sun If patients are alert, they can turn, or prone, themselves every couple hours. If they're ventilated, it could take a team of up to half a dozen health care workers 20 minutes to carefully prone a patient, who might then stay on their stomach for up to 24 hours.— Mallory Moench, The San Francisco Chronicle — see also proning

More from Merriam-Webster on prone

Nglish: Translation of prone for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of prone for Arabic Speakers

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