Meaning of supine in English:


Pronunciation /ˈs(j)uːpʌɪn/

See synonyms for supine

Translate supine into Spanish


  • 1(of a person) lying face upwards.

    Contrasted with prone (sense 2)

    ‘A supine man is roughly dragged off like a carcass.’
    • ‘A supine figure lay motionless under a stack of blankets.’
    • ‘Below each of the two buildings lies a supine male figure, with feet at left and head at right.’
    • ‘The sounds of a television, which seems tuned to a crime movie, play across an obstructed vision of a rumpled bed, a supine leg and a discarded handgun.’
    • ‘From my point of view, it seems I'm lying supine on some sort of a bench or table.’
    • ‘Eventually I found myself lying supine on top of one of those dilapidated benches between the lockers, pretending to sleep.’
    • ‘You captured the audience's attention on at least two occasions - while lying supine on the floor, plucking the cello that lay horizontally on top of you, and while playing Bach as you dangled from a balcony.’
    • ‘In his supine position, his gender was obvious.’
    • ‘Characters speak in unison, repeat phrases obsessively, deliver lines supine on the floor, break up sentences illogically, or mumble sotto voce.’
    • ‘I lie, sweaty and supine, upon the damp bedclothes.’
    flat on one's back, prone, recumbent, prostrate, stretched out, spreadeagled
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    1. 1.1 technical Having the front or ventral part upwards.
    2. 1.2(of the hand) with the palm upwards.
  • 2Failing to act or protest as a result of moral weakness or indolence.

    ‘they remained supine in the face of terrible wrongdoing’
    • ‘But when it came to ‘policing ‘the franchises, the Arts Council proved utterly supine.’’
    • ‘Share prices then start to rise again, until such time that the market becomes so overvalued that our supine friends emerge once again from their hibernation.’
    • ‘The same spirit of unimaginative incompetence and weak compromise and supine drift will paralyse trade and business and prevent either financial reorganisation or economic resurgence.’
    weak, spineless, yielding, enervated, effete
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  • A Latin verbal noun used only in the accusative and ablative cases, especially to denote purpose (e.g. mirabile dictu ‘wonderful to relate’).


Late Middle English the adjective from Latin supinus ‘bent backwards’ (related to super ‘above’); the noun from late Latin supinum, neuter of supinus.