prostration

noun

pros·​tra·​tion prä-ˈstrā-shən How to pronounce prostration (audio)
1
a
: the act of assuming a prostrate position
b
: the state of being in a prostrate position : abasement
2
a
: complete physical or mental exhaustion : collapse
b
: the process of being made powerless or the condition of powerlessness
the country suffered economic prostration after the war

Examples of prostration in a Sentence

an outpatient suffering from fever, prostration, and nausea was rushed to the hospital by ambulance
Recent Examples on the Web Indeed, the Sabbath was usually one of Hatzolah’s busiest times, possibly due to the overeating that was among the highlights of the day—heart attacks, strokes, ulcer flare-ups, complete prostration due to the cholent and the kugel. Tova Reich, Harper's Magazine, 11 Dec. 2023 The attendees offered heartfelt reverence to the Buddhas, engaged in prostrations, and prayed to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas for blessings upon all sentient beings. Jon Stojan, USA TODAY, 25 July 2023 One death and two cases of heat prostration were called possibly due to the temperature, which was said then to be the highest in the country. Martin Weil, Washington Post, 3 June 2023 This is akin to members of Congress sporting fake kente-cloth shawls and taking a knee in a foul moment of fake reverence for ex-con George Floyd, in an act of politically correct prostration. Armond White, National Review, 19 Aug. 2022 In extreme cases of grief prostration, one of the Is-There-Anything-I-Can-Do? Jacobina Martin, Washington Post, 22 Aug. 2022 Negotiators claim that a deal could be days away from finalization, perhaps explaining the bizarre prostration to the rogue regime. Carine Hajjar, National Review, 18 Feb. 2022 President Johnson, it should be noted, had recently made Boutwell’s question about Congress’ prostration before spreading executive tyranny slightly less hypothetical. Alex Pareene, The New Republic, 21 Nov. 2019 After celebrating and embracing his teammates, Salah performs sujood, the Islamic act of prostration. Charlene Gubash, NBC News, 10 June 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'prostration.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of prostration was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near prostration

Cite this Entry

“Prostration.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/prostration. Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

prostration

noun
pros·​tra·​tion prä-ˈstrā-shən How to pronounce prostration (audio)
1
a
: the act of assuming a prostrate position
b
: the state of being prostrate
2
: complete physical or mental exhaustion : collapse

Medical Definition

prostration

noun
pros·​tra·​tion prä-ˈstrā-shən How to pronounce prostration (audio)
: complete physical or mental exhaustion see heat exhaustion

More from Merriam-Webster on prostration

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!