Lying prone, or with the head to the ground, as in a gesture of humility, adoration, or subservience; physically weak or exhausted; utterly depressed or disconsolate.
To cast oneself on the ground in humility, adoration, or subservience; to reduce to physical weakness; to overcome or reduce to helplessness.
Note: Do not confuse with prostate, the male gland that produces the fluid part of semen.
It is not enough for us to prostrate ourselves under the tree which is Creation, and to contemplate its tremendous branches filled with stars. We have a duty to perform, to work upon the human soul, to defend the mystery against the miracle, to worship the incomprehensible while rejecting the absurd; to accept, in the inexplicable, only what is necessary; to dispel the superstitions that surround religion—to rid God of His Maggots.
—Victor Hugo Les Misérables (1862)