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

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

Did you know?

If you're ready to take your vocabulary lying down, you'll want to be familiar with the synonyms recumbent, prone, supine, and prostrate, all of which mean "lying down." Recumbent, which derives from the Latin prefix re- and the verb cumbere, meaning "to lie down," focuses on the posture or position native to sleeping or resting. Prone describes someone who is lying facedown, as, for example, in doing push-ups. Supine flips it over, suggesting the position of someone lying inert on the back, while prostrate implies a full-scale physical collapse or submission, regardless of the exact position of the defeated body. Recumbent, dating from 17th century, is the newest of the four words; the others all entered English before the 16th century.

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.
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective After a month, move to a semi-recumbent position on a standard bike. Judith Graham, CNN, 26 May 2022 Looking to get an upright or recumbent stationary bike? Karina Hoshikawa,, 30 Nov. 2020 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, 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, 15 Apr. 2020 The same is true for Dana Lieberman, owner of a recumbent bicycle shop in Los Angeles. Anchorage Daily News, 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,, 14 Apr. 2020 There’s a reason people have traveled the route on recumbent cycles. National Geographic, 3 Feb. 2020 Her manner can give the impression of someone piloting a recumbent bike: energetic but not overeager. Sarah Larson, The New Yorker, 29 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun There are three exercise bike styles to consider: ​​upright, recumbent, and indoor cycling bikes. Maggie Slepian, Popular Mechanics, 4 Aug. 2022 This may involve trying to activate your core while in a supine or sideways position, performing balance exercises or doing seated cardio on a recumbent bike or rowing machine. New York Times, 9 Apr. 2022 His days at the center are filled with exercises like pedaling on a recumbent bike, boxing or throwing darts from his wheelchair and practicing walking down hallways – all of which can leave him breathless after only a few minutes, if that. Tribune News Service, oregonlive, 13 Mar. 2022 Another group used treadmills, ellipticals, and upright or recumbent bikes for their aerobic exercise, with observers monitoring their heart rate to keep it at a moderate-to-vigorous intensity level. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, 3 Mar. 2022 Palmer had spent recent weeks mostly in this recumbent position and would not stray far from it during the next 24 hours. Gregory Barber, Wired, 10 Feb. 2022 In general, some safe, low-impact activities include walking, swimming, and riding a recumbent bicycle. Sara Lindberg, SELF, 10 Feb. 2022 Separate programs were also developed that allowed the subjects to ride recumbent bicycles or to paddle a kayak. John Timmer, Ars Technica, 8 Feb. 2022 Get ahead of that resolution now by upgrading your home gym with this recumbent exercise bike, which has been slashed to just $135. Amy Schulman,, 25 Dec. 2021 See More

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.

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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The first known use of recumbent was in 1664

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recumbent anticline

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Cite this Entry

“Recumbent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for recumbent


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

Medical Definition of recumbent

: lying down a patient recumbent on a stretcher

More from Merriam-Webster on recumbent

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for recumbent


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