Pros*tra"tion (?), n. [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. Shak.

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 1913.

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