recumbent

as in horizontal
formal lying down The Egyptian sphinx has the body of a recumbent lion. a recumbent position

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How does the adjective recumbent differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of recumbent are prone, prostrate, and supine. While all these words mean "lying down," recumbent implies the posture of one sleeping or resting.

a patient comfortably recumbent in a hospital bed

When might prone be a better fit than recumbent?

While the synonyms prone and recumbent are close in meaning, prone implies a position with the front of the body turned toward the supporting surface.

push-ups require a prone position

In what contexts can prostrate take the place of recumbent?

The words prostrate and recumbent can be used in similar contexts, but prostrate implies lying full-length as in submission, defeat, or physical collapse.

a runner fell prostrate at the finish line

Where would supine be a reasonable alternative to recumbent?

The words supine and recumbent are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, supine implies lying on one's back and suggests inertness or abjectness.

lying supine on the couch

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Cite this Entry

“Recumbent.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/recumbent. Accessed 26 May. 2024.

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