re·​cum·​bent | \ ri-ˈkəm-bənt How to pronounce recumbent (audio) \

Definition of recumbent

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : suggestive of repose : leaning, resting comfortably recumbent against a fallen tree
b : lying down Then Mr. Grey was shown in, and found the squire recumbent on a sofa, with a store of books within his reach …— Anthony Trollope
2 : representing a person lying down a recumbent statue
3 of a bicycle : having the seat positioned so that the rider's legs are extended horizontally forward to the pedals and the body is reclined a recumbent bicycle



Definition of recumbent (Entry 2 of 2)

: a bicycle with a wide seat that has a back support and is positioned so that the rider's legs are extended horizontally forward to the pedals and the body is reclined The recumbent requires a bit more space, but its chairlike seat offers better back support.— Patrick Netter et al. There are more than a dozen categories of recumbents with one thing in common: the sit-down position.— Dan Koeppel

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Choose the Right Synonym for recumbent


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

Examples of recumbent in a Sentence

Adjective … the psychiatrist's popular image remains that of a little bearded figure with a Central European accent, scribbling away in a notebook behind his recumbent patient. — Roland Littlewood, Times Literary Supplement, September 1984 A recumbent figure started up from the grass and came running toward them through the flickering screen of light and shade. — Willa Cather, O Pioneers!, 1913 The Egyptian sphinx has the body of a recumbent lion.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective With a recumbent driving position and just three wheels, Eco-Runner 8's torpedo-like body is probably the most aerodynamically efficient road vehicle ever, with a scarcely believable Cd of 0.045. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "These streamliners are the world’s most aerodynamic cars," 8 May 2020 There are no studies that establish a correlation between the length of postcoital recumbent time and subsequent pregnancy rates — but there is a large study that examined pregnancy rates after insemination in a doctor’s office. New York Times, "7 Fertility Myths That Belong in the Past," 15 Apr. 2020 The same is true for Dana Lieberman, owner of a recumbent bicycle shop in Los Angeles. Anchorage Daily News, "Federal small-business program that is supposed to quickly provide $10,000 grants is overwhelmed, running weeks behind," 15 Apr. 2020 Sam Rice has long had a treadmill, dumbbells, free weights and weight bench in his home near Bulverde Road and Loop 1604 but recently paid $3,300 for a SportsArt C545R recumbent bike. Richard A. Marini,, "More people setting up home gyms with gyms closed amid coronavirus pandemic," 14 Apr. 2020 There’s a reason people have traveled the route on recumbent cycles. National Geographic, "His tale of crossing Antarctica was riveting. But how much was fiction?," 3 Feb. 2020 Her manner can give the impression of someone piloting a recumbent bike: energetic but not overeager. Sarah Larson, The New Yorker, "Watching Amy Klobuchar’s Impassioned Centrism in Iowa," 29 Jan. 2020 Kick back and pedal forward in a recumbent tricycle for tours that cover downtown San Antonio, Brackenridge Park and the city’s historic missions. René A. Guzman, San Antonio Express-News, "Take a walk or other vehicular tour of San Antonio," 4 June 2018 In one, a recumbent figure in a denim skirt in the grass proves, on second glance, to be a boy; a similar double take establishes the gender of a longhaired youth being embraced from behind by a lean-limbed fellow. Arthur Lubow, New York Times, "What’s New in Photography? Humanism, MoMA Says," 9 Mar. 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun To stand there felt like standing on the back of some vast recumbent mammal. William Atkins, Harper's Magazine, "[Letter from Ireland]," 23 June 2020 They are encased in glass, some standing, some recumbent, clothed and naked, their faces alive with agony. The Economist, "Death and taxes Mexico’s missing mummy mystery," 28 May 2020 The Vasper looks like a recumbent bike crossed with an elliptical attached by tubes to a jet ski and uses adaptive resistance, compression and liquid cooling straps to amplify a workout’s anaerobic effects. Hilary Potkewitz, WSJ, "The Gyms That Want You to Leave ASAP," 2 Mar. 2020 This path is used by snowmobiles and the occasional fat-tired recumbent bicycle, Teasdale notes, and O’Brady relied on the route for more than a third of his crossing. Charles Bethea, The New Yorker, "The Polar Explorer Colin O’Brady and the Problem with “Firsts”," 14 Feb. 2020 Richard loved bicycling and would often spend hours on his recumbent bicycle on the local roads., "Richard L. Norgaard," 27 Oct. 2019 Ketelhut and the police are monitoring online resale sites for recumbent bicycles that might be linked to the theft from Daring Adventures. Chase Hunter, azcentral, "Bikes for people with disabilities stolen from Phoenix nonprofit," 10 Jan. 2020 The gym features equipment like the NuStep, a combination recumbent bike and elliptical trainer, as well as treadmills, weight machines and free weights. Alix Boyle,, "Staying fit forever: ‘Even people using walkers or wheelchairs are exercising’," 14 Oct. 2019 Panorama will be full of fun bells and whistles, including the first-ever Sky Zone trampoline park at sea, and the Sky Ride, a recumbent-bike ride that soars over the open ocean. Rosemary Mcclure, Los Angeles Times, "More ships will sail from Southern California to Mexico starting in fall," 16 Aug. 2019

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

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First Known Use of recumbent


1664, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1968, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for recumbent


Latin recumbent-, recumbens, present participle of recumbere to lie down, from re- + -cumbere to lie down; akin to Latin cubare to lie

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Time Traveler for recumbent

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The first known use of recumbent was in 1664

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Last Updated

23 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Recumbent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for recumbent


How to pronounce recumbent (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of recumbent

formal : lying down


re·​cum·​bent | \ -bənt How to pronounce recumbent (audio) \

Medical Definition of recumbent

: lying down a patient recumbent on a stretcher

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with recumbent

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