One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A person who prostrates, especially as part of a religious observance; (in the early Orthodox Church) specifically a person belonging to the third order of penitents, permitted to attend services in a kneeling or prostrate position. Compare "kneeler", "prostrate". Now rare.
Mid 17th century (in an earlier sense). Originally from post-classical Latin prostrator person who overthrows from classical Latin prōstrāt-, past participial stem of prōsternere + -or.
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