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[tawr-per] /ˈtɔr pər/
sluggish inactivity or inertia.
lethargic indifference; apathy.
a state of suspended physical powers and activities.
dormancy, as of a hibernating animal.
Origin of torpor
1600-10; < Latin: numbness, equivalent to torp(ēre) to be stiff or numb + -or -or1
2. stolidity, listlessness, lethargy. 4. sleepiness, slumber, drowsiness. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for torpor
  • Hopefully, they will awaken from their long torpor and rise to the challenges of the times.
  • Those who are content need robust political speech to rouse them from their civic torpor.
  • She was kneeling on the floor, ice in her hair, lost in some kind of hypothermic torpor.
  • The costly education in politics had led to political torpor.
  • If herbivores went into a torpor or hibernation they would have been easy prey for predators.
  • Millions of dollars of foreign aid and a building boom have dragged the place out of torpor.
  • In addition, it is both a cause and consequence of economic torpor that politics in the south remains the province of strongmen.
  • When housing arises from its torpor, it could find itself transformed.
  • It's time to wake up from the haze of the torpor we've been lurching under, for decades.
  • The atmosphere veered nastily between a sorry, unhygienic torpor and an ugly, vindictive frustration.
British Dictionary definitions for torpor


a state of torpidity
Derived Forms
torporific, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from Latin: inactivity, from torpēre to be 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 torpor

c.1600, from Latin torpor "numbness," from torpere "be numb," from PIE root *ster- "stiff" (cf. Old Church Slavonic trupeti, Lithuanian tirpstu "to become rigid;" Greek stereos "solid;" Old English steorfan "to die;" see sterile).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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torpor in Medicine

torpor tor·por (tôr'pər)

  1. A state of mental or physical inactivity or insensibility.

  2. Lethargy; apathy.

tor'po·rif'ic (-pə-rĭf'ĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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