What is the difference between supine, prone and prostrate?

Do supine, prone, prostrate have the same meaning?

No, they are not synonym. They mean almost the same meaning, but they are not synonyms.

    What is the meaning of supine?

    Supine means lying flat on your back.

    1. Patients should lay supine on the bed.
    2. He is lying supine on  beach.

    It is also used to describe someone as lazy.

    1. My younger brother has very supine attitude.

    What is the meaning of prone?

    Prone means lying on your front, lying face downward.

    1. Bob slid from his chair and lay prone on the floor.

    Prone used to describe people who are frequently affected by something bad.

    1. My mom is prone to depression.
    2. Her sister is prone to mistakes.

    What is the meaning of prostrate?

    Prostrate means lying down flat on your front on the ground usually to show respect for God or a person in authority.

    Prostrate is also used to describe someone who is very distressed or affected by a very bad experience that they are unable to do anything at all.

    1. Immediately after my father's death my stepmother was prostrate.

    Difference between supine, prone, and prostrate.

    We will differentiate between them on the basis of position.

    If you are supine, you are lying flat on your back. 

    When you are prone, you are lying on your face.

    When you are prostrate, you are lying on your face because you are helpless or defenseless. Injury, illness, despair, grief and other similar things can prostrate you. It is used to describe lying on the ground in a helpless position.

    How to memorize these words:

    Prone comes from Latin pronus meaning 'leaning forward', as pro means 'forwards'.

    Supine comes from Latin word supinus meaning 'bent backwards', as super means 'above'. 

    Prostrate comes from Latin prosratus meaning thrown down, from pro- 'before' + sternere- 'lay flat'.

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