Definition of decubitus in US English:



  • The posture adopted by a person who is lying down.

    as modifier ‘lumbar puncture with the patient in the lateral decubitus position’
    • ‘The patients were positioned in the lateral decubitus position, under general anesthesia.’
    • ‘If the patient cannot sit up, order a left lateral decubitus.’
    • ‘Over several weeks, he developed shortness of breath, wheezing, and dyspnea that was worse in the supine position and improved in the decubitus position.’
    • ‘The operation was performed with the patient under general anesthesia and in the lateral decubitus position with a thigh tourniquet.’
    • ‘When supine, the muscle is flattened and bandlike. When decubitus or prone, the sternalis muscle is mobile and may have a bulging appearance.’


Late 19th century: modern Latin, from Latin decumbere ‘lie down’, on the pattern of words such as accubitus ‘reclining at table’.