|Definition - An archaic name for to-infinitives, such as to show and to eat.|
Etymology - The term derives from the Late Latin supinum verbum, supine verb (from the Latin supinus, turned or thrown backwards). It was perhaps so called because, even though it has a noun case ending, it "falls back" on the verb.
Oxford English Dictionary - Its first citation as an English grammatical term is from 1721:
"Grammarians, … meer Traders in Gerunds and Retailers of Supines."
(Prior Dial. Dead, Chas. & Cl. (1907) 216)