Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A state of mental or physical inactivity or insensibility.
  • noun Lethargy; apathy. synonym: lethargy.
  • noun The dormant, inactive state of a hibernating or estivating animal.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Loss of motion or sensibility; numbness or inactivity of mind or body; torpidity; torpidness; dormancy; apathy; stupor: as, the torpor of a hibernating animal; the torpor of intoxication or of grief.
  • noun Dullness; sluggishness; apathy; stupidity.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Loss of motion, or of the motion; a state of inactivity with partial or total insensibility; numbness.
  • noun Dullness; sluggishness; inactivity.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Being inactive or stuporous.
  • noun A state of apathy or lethargy.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a state of motor and mental inactivity with a partial suspension of sensibility
  • noun inactivity resulting from lethargy and lack of vigor or energy

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Latin, from torpēre, to be stiff; see ster- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin torpor ("numbness"), from torpeō ("I am numb").

Examples

  • Hibernation: Each winter bears enter a sluggish state called torpor, which is not true hibernation.

    Press of Atlantic City: Editorials

  • Hibernation: Each winter bears enter a sluggish state called torpor, which is not true hibernation.

    Press of Atlantic City: Editorials

  • Hibernation: Each winter bears enter a sluggish state called torpor, which is not true hibernation.

    Press of Atlantic City: Editorials

  • Hibernation: Each winter bears enter a sluggish state called torpor, which is not true hibernation.

    Press of Atlantic City: Editorials

  • "has broken the spell under which we lay in torpor for ages, taking it to be the normal condition of certain races living in certain geographical limits."

    Tagore and His India

  • Elizabeth alone had the power to draw me from these fits; her gentle voice would soothe me when transported by passion, and inspire me with human feelings when sunk in torpor.

    Chapter 22

  • Elizabeth alone had the power to draw me from these fits; her gentle voice would soothe me when transported by passion, and inspire me with human feelings when sunk in torpor.

    Chapter 5

  • In this subdued metabolic state, called torpor, hibernators ratchet down their inner thermostats, precipitously lower their heart and respiratory rates, and tune out nearly all external stimuli.

    Many species use hibernation to survive the rigors of winter

  • In this subdued metabolic state, called torpor, hibernators ratchet down their inner thermostats, precipitously lower their heart and respiratory rates, and tune out nearly all external stimuli.

    Many species use hibernation to survive the rigors of winter

  • It can enter a state called torpor in which the body temperature, normally more than 105 degrees Fahrenheit, falls to below 70.

    Birdology

Comments

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  • I just love words and everything about them! Finding the right one to use at the right time, understanding their power, subtlety and application fascinates me! And their history!

    September 22, 2008

  • I had put out the light, and a torpor had come over me that was more like an anesthetic than sleep.

    Gustavo Corção, Who If I Cry Out

    November 19, 2011

  • inactivity resulting from lethargy and lack of vigor or energy

    After work, I was expecting my colleagues to be enthusiastic about the outing, but I found them in a state of complete torpor.

    October 12, 2016