American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- adj. Deprived of the power of motion or feeling; benumbed.
- adj. Dormant; hibernating.
- adj. Lethargic; apathetic. See Synonyms at inactive.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Benumbed; insensible; inactive.
- Specifically, dormant, as an animal in hibernation or estivation, when it passes its time in sleep: as, a torpid snake.
- Figuratively, dull; sluggish; apathetic.
- Pertaining to the torpids, or Lent boat-races at Oxford. See II.
- n. A second-class racing-boat at Oxford, corresponding to the slogger of Cambridge; also, one of the crew of such a boat.
- n. plural The Lent boat-races at Oxford.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. Having lost motion, or the power of exertion and feeling; numb; benumbed.
- adj. Dull; stupid; sluggish; inactive.
- n. An inferior racing boat, or one who rows in such a boat.
- n. The Lenten rowing races.
- adj. in a condition of biological rest or suspended animation
- adj. slow and apathetic
- Latin torpidus, from torpēre, to be stiff; see ster-1 in Indo-European roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“So in continued fevers, when the stomach is totally torpid, which is known by the total aversion to solid food, the cutaneous capillaries are by reverse sympathy in a perpetual state of increased activity, as appears from the heat of the skin.”
“One evening, I sat upon our front step, in a kind of torpid state of mind through my refusal to contemplate the dismal future.”
Philip Winwood A Sketch of the Domestic History of an American Captain in the War of Independence; Embracing Events that Occurred between and during the Years 1763 and 1786, in New York and London: written by His Enemy in War, Herbert Russell, Lieutenant in the Loyalist Forces.
“But he did not shed even a single tear, only his face looked more severe than usual, but there was depicted in it a kind of torpid calm.”
“Sometimes I have a kind of torpid languid feeling, which is scarcely unpleasant, only strange, you know.”
“Day after day she lay in bed, in a darkened room, unwilling to lift her voice above a whisper, waiting in a kind of torpid dread for the intelligence that she knew must soon come.”
“They probably breed there under stones in summer, and creeping in among the stones pass the winter there, at certain seasons doubtless in a kind of torpid state.”
“All was cold and rainy and dark, and we waited in a kind of torpid misery for daylight.”
“In the winter he dozed away his time, within his father's house, by the fireside, in a kind of torpid state, seldom departing from the chimney-corner; but in the summer he was all alert, and in quest of his game in the fields, and on sunny banks.”
“A few guests were coming over for dinner — something which I neither dreaded nor welcomed and which in itself (that is, my torpid indifference) reveals a fascinating aspect of depression’s pathology.”
“David hears him go:A vague, remote pity stirred within his breast like a wreathing, raveling smoke, tenuously dispersed within his being, a kind of torpid heart-break he had felt sometimes in winter awakened deep in the night and hearing that dull tread descend the stairs as Albert went to work. (p.440)Instead of the familiar progress from halakhah (Jewish law) to haskalah (secular enlightenment), David makes use of religious props to smack up against the reality of modern urban life in “this Golden Land,” the New World.”
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