Definition of supine in English:

supine

adjective

  • 1(of a person) lying face upwards.

    Contrasted with prone (sense 2)
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Eventually I found myself lying supine on top of one of those dilapidated benches between the lockers, pretending to sleep.’
    • ‘From my point of view, it seems I'm lying supine on some sort of a bench or table.’
    • ‘Below each of the two buildings lies a supine male figure, with feet at left and head at right.’
    • ‘A supine figure lay motionless under a stack of blankets.’
    • ‘A supine man is roughly dragged off like a carcass.’
    flat on one's back, prone, recumbent, prostrate, stretched out, spreadeagled
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1technical 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.

    ‘the government was supine in the face of racial injustice’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But when it came to ‘policing ‘the franchises, the Arts Council proved utterly supine.’’
    weak, spineless, yielding, enervated, effete
    View synonyms

noun

Grammar
  • A Latin verbal noun used only in the accusative and ablative cases, especially to denote purpose (e.g. mirabile dictu ‘wonderful to relate’).

Origin

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

Pronunciation

supine

/ˈs(j)uːpʌɪn/