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[tawr-pid] /ˈtɔr pɪd/
inactive or sluggish.
slow; dull; apathetic; lethargic.
dormant, as a hibernating or estivating animal.
Origin of torpid1
1605-15; < Latin torpidus numb, equivalent to torp(ēre) to be stiff or numb + -idus -id4
Related forms
torpidity, torpidness, noun
torpidly, adverb
Can be confused
torpid, turbid, turgid.
2. indolent. 3. See inactive.
1. energetic.


[tawr-pid] /ˈtɔr pɪd/
an eight-oared, clinker-built boat used for races at Oxford University during the Lenten term.
1830-40; special use of torpid1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for torpid
Historical Examples
  • His torpid look, flushed countenance, and uneasy respiration, convinced me that he had taken a large quantity of ardent spirits.

  • Bees are not, as some suppose, in a dormant, or torpid condition in Winter.

  • Feeds of easy digestion do not tire the already fatigued organs of an animal with a torpid digestive system.

    Special Report on Diseases of the Horse United States Department of Agriculture
  • torpid and prone, I lay there numbed into absolute quiescence.

    Child and Country Will Levington Comfort
  • torpid man saves time and money in this civilization; but his soul remains defrauded and oppressed.

  • In the white of his eye there was a torpid and composed abstraction.

    The Island Pharisees John Galsworthy
  • New conditions have called into play valuable qualities which were torpid until touched by the wand of necessity.

    The Land We Live In Henry Mann
  • The muscles of the face, more than those of any other part of the body, are lazy and torpid.

    The Woman Beautiful Helen Follett Stevans
  • It spends the summer in a torpid condition, buried in the mud, and is dug up by the natives as an article of food.

  • The patient in the next room is asleep or torpid, so he omits farewells.

    Somehow Good William de Morgan
British Dictionary definitions for torpid


apathetic, sluggish, or lethargic
(of a hibernating animal) dormant; having greatly reduced metabolic activity
unable to move or feel
Derived Forms
torpidity, noun
torpidly, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from Latin torpidus, from torpēre to be numb, motionless
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for torpid

1610s, from Latin torpidus "benumbed," from torpere "be numb or stiff" (see torpor).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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torpid in Medicine

torpid tor·pid (tôr'pĭd)

  1. Deprived of power of motion or feeling.

  2. Lethargic; apathetic.

tor·pid'i·ty n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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