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Webster 1913 Edition


Prostration

Pros-tra′tion

,
Noun.
[L.
prostratio
: cf. F.
prostration
.]
1.
The act of prostrating, throwing down, or laying fiat;
as, the
prostration
of the body
.
2.
The act of falling down, or of bowing in humility or adoration; primarily, the act of falling on the face, but usually applied to kneeling or bowing in reverence and worship.
A greater
prostration
of reason than of body.
Shakespeare
3.
The condition of being prostrate; great depression; lowness; dejection;
as, a
postration
of spirits
.
“A sudden prostration of strength.”
Arbuthnot.
4.
(Med.)
A latent, not an exhausted, state of the vital energies; great oppression of natural strength and vigor.
Prostration, in its medical use, is analogous to the state of a spring lying under such a weight that it is incapable of action; while exhaustion is analogous to the state of a spring deprived of its elastic powers. The word, however, is often used to denote any great depression of the vital powers.

Webster 1828 Edition


Prostration

PROSTRA'TION

,
Noun.
The act of throwing down or laying flat; as the prostration of the body, of trees or of corn.
1.
The act of falling down, or the act of bowing in humility or adoration; primarily, the act of falling on the face, but it is now used for kneeling or bowing in reverence and worship.
2.
Great depression; dejection; as a prostration of spirits.
3.
Great loss of natural strength and vigor; that state of the body in disease in which the system is passive and requires powerful stimulants to excite it into action.

Definition 2022


prostration

prostration

English

Noun

prostration (plural prostrations)

  1. The act or condition of prostrating (lying flat) oneself, as a sign of humility.
  2. A part of the ordination of Catholic and Orthodox priests.
    The ordination ceremony includes a variety of rituals, rich in meaning and history, e.g., the prostration, laying on of hands, anointing of hands, giving of the chalice and paten, and sign of peace.Diocese of Rochester, NY
  3. Being laid face down (prone).
  4. The condition of being prostrated, as from heat.
  5. A reverential bow performed in Middle Eastern cultures.
Usage notes
  • Outside of ordination, prostration as a sign of humility has never been part of the Western tradition, but was present in the Middle-Eastern and Asian traditions.
Derived terms
  • heat prostration
  • nervous prostration
Synonyms