I'm aware of the difference between Prone vs. Supine vs. Prostrate, but I'm trying to find the opposite of the related word 'reclined'.

Every web or dictionary search brings up 'upright' as the antonym for reclined. That's not what I mean.

Where I envisaged a reclined person (on their back/supine but propped up), I'm trying to find the word for lying on one's front in the prone position also propped up.

A good example would be the stereotype of Romans eating on their stomach:

modern representation of Roman people lying on their front around a table of food and eating from it

Or this person reading while resting on a pillow:

Asian man lying on his front reading manga, propped up by a small cushion

Both pictures show them propped up, like a reclined person is, whether by pillows or use of their arms.

If I were to use it in a sentence, it might be:

Derrek's partner reclined on the sunlounger, in contrast Derrek <word>ed by the pool.

I don't want to use the word prone, as I'm not using the word supine; 'prone' would feel out of place. Prone also implies to me that their face is pointed directly down to the floor or close to it, in much the way that Supine implies to me facing directly upward.

  • 1
    You mean lying on one's front! Mar 12 at 13:08
  • 1
    "Lying on one's front" is not the most idiomatic term ; "lying on one's belly*" is the current one : books.google.com/ngrams/…
    – LPH
    Mar 12 at 13:57
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    Merriam-Webster has "prone" as a verb. But the OP seems to have an irrational prejudice against the term.
    – Stuart F
    Aug 10 at 9:24
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    You are not looking for the opposite of recline. You are looking for the opposite of supine.
    – EllieK
    Aug 10 at 12:40
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    @EllieK I will not endeavor to impugn your pedanticity. You have made my point for me. 'Recline' doesn't have a convenient single word opposite; the airlines all need to give a phrase as the opposite. The elementary school exercise of one-to-one antonyms works until it doesn't, and 'doesn't' happens for most words past a certain complexity.
    – Mitch
    Aug 10 at 18:57

2 Answers 2


The word "pronate" has the meanings of "place in a prone position" and "assume a prone position" as well as meanings relating to rotation of the arms or feet. (see thefreedictionary.com/pronate).

  • Does that work in my example sentence? Mar 13 at 10:28
  • It seems a bit formal for the suggested context. Mar 13 at 12:52
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    @TobySpeight also "in contrast Derrek pronated by the pool." Just doesn't work Mar 13 at 16:44
  • Yes, that's what I said - too formal. Mar 13 at 17:20
  • @TobySpeight I was pointing out it doesn't make sense, not that it's 'too formal'. It's unusual for Pronate to be intransitive. Mar 13 at 18:31

It’s not great, and it’s not a perfect antonym, but how about sprawl?

“Derek sprawled by the pool.”

  • 2
    No. You can be sprawled on your back.
    – Jim
    Mar 12 at 19:33
  • "Sprawled" also means spread out, rather than lying compactly.
    – Peter
    Mar 14 at 3:40

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