from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Lying with the front or face downward.
  • adj. Having a tendency; inclined: paper that is prone to yellowing; children who are prone to mischief.
  • adv. In a prone manner: The patient was lying prone on the bed.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Lying face downward; prostrate (Wikipedia).
  • adj. Having a downward inclination or slope.
  • adj. Shooting from a lying down position.
  • adj. Predisposed, liable, inclined.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Bending forward; inclined; not erect.
  • adj. Prostrate; flat; esp., lying with the face down; -- opposed to supine.
  • adj. Headlong; running downward or headlong.
  • adj. Sloping, with reference to a line or surface; declivous; inclined; not level.
  • adj. Inclined; propense; disposed; -- applied to the mind or affections, usually in an ill sense. Followed by to.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Bending forward with the face downward; inclined; lying flat; not erect.
  • Lying with the face or front downward.
  • Specifically, in anatomy: Lying face downward; stretched at full length on the belly.
  • Lying with the palm downward; pronated, as the hand. In both senses, the opposite of supine.
  • Moving or sloping downward; descending; inclined.
  • Inclined by disposition or natural tendency; propense; disposed: usually in an ill sense.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. lying face downward
  • adj. having a tendency (to); often used in combination


Middle English, inclined, disposed, from Latin prōnus, leaning forward; see per1 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin prōnus ("turned forward, bent or inclined"). (Wiktionary)


Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • I've not had that problem, no.

    January 28, 2011

  • Are you particularly prune-prone?

    January 28, 2011

  • I wonder whether prunes lie prone?

    January 27, 2011

  • I never realised this meant lying face-down; I thought it was just "lying flat" (face up or down).

    January 25, 2011