Definitions

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

  • adj. Lying on the back or having the face upward.
  • adj. Having the palm upward. Used of the hand.
  • adj. Marked by or showing lethargy, passivity, or blameworthy indifference. See Synonyms at inactive.
  • adj. Inclined; sloping.
  • n. Grammar A defective Latin verbal noun of the fourth declension, having very limited syntax and only two cases, an accusative in -tum or -sum and an ablative in -tū or -sū. The accusative form is sometimes considered to be the fourth principal part of the Latin verb.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Lying on its back, reclined
  • adj. Sloping or inclined
  • adj. Lethargic; blameworthy indifferent
  • adj. Passive
  • n. A type of verbal noun.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Lying on the back, or with the face upward; -- opposed to prone.
  • adj. Leaning backward, or inclining with exposure to the sun; sloping; inclined.
  • adj. Negligent; heedless; indolent; listless.
  • n. A verbal noun; or (according to C.F.Becker), a case of the infinitive mood ending in -um and -u, that in -um being sometimes called the former supine, and that in -u the latter supine.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Lying on the back, or with the face upward: opposed to prone.
  • Leaning backward; inclined; sloping: said of localities.
  • Negligent; listless; heedless; indolent; thoughtless; inattentive; careless.
  • In botany, lying flat with the face upward, as sometimes a thallus or leaf.
  • n. A part of the Latin verb, really a verbal noun, similar to the English verbals in -ing, with two cases.
  • Supinely.

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

  • adj. offering no resistance
  • adj. lying face upward

Etymologies

Middle English supin, Latin verbal noun, from Late Latin supīnum (verbum), (verb) lying on its back, (verb) going back, neuter of Latin supīnus.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English supin, from Latin supinum, supinus. Grammatical meaning is from the phrase supinum verbum. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Still, you've got to ask yourself – how supine is a journalist who permits himself to be TOLD if he can or can't write down something he is told?

    ‘Which country is more open and transparent?’ « Antiwar.com Blog

  • If you are wont to opine: “if you have done nothing wrong, then you have nothing to fear”, you will, of course, remain supine and do nothing.

    The Thought Police Cometh

  • Effects of VIAGRA on Blood Pressure: Single oral doses of sildenafil (100 mg) administered to healthy volunteers produced decreases in supine blood pressure.

    Write Me an Essay

  • As long as the remote banks of the Niester were considered as the boundary of the Roman power, the fortifications of the Lower Danube were more carelessly guarded, and the inhabitants of Maesia lived in supine security, fondly conceiving themselves at an inaccessible distance from any barbarian invaders.

    The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

  • Then there was President Bush talking about oil, and Hillary Clinton talking about health care, which caused me to realize that if you haven’t lain supine in a claustrophobia-inducing magnetized tunnel while watching Hillary Clinton talk about health care one inch from your eyeballs, well, you just haven’t lived.

    Re-Thinking Jeffrey Goldberg

  • Active operations have been begun before Petersburg, where the two armies had long lain supine.

    Foreign and Colonial Intelligence

  • The last is called a supine and is the source of our to love.

    Our Own Primary Grammar for the Use of Beginners.

  • I don't think, however, that the MSM could in the remotest way be described as supine during GW's second term.

    politicalbetting.com

  • She learned, for example, that a description of her as "supine" meant she was laying in a face-up position.

    What the Doctor Is Really Thinking

  • Chris Bryant, the Labour former minister, said the Commons had to stop being "supine" and to protect "the democratic right of MPs to do their job without illegal let, hindrance or interception".

    Politics blog live - Thursday 9 September

Comments

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  • 'Sue Pine'
    (for an old love, immune to my charms)

    Here's a line my long lost Sue,

    to say that I still pine for you.

    still wishing that I could divine

    how to get sweet Sue
    Sue Pine

    November 13, 2009

  • Citations on untragic and pall.

    June 22, 2008

  • When talking to my mother about a serious matter I must, at some point in the conversation, be completely supine. I would prefer to be on a carpet if possible.

    December 9, 2006