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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).
torpor tor·por (tôr'pər)
A state of mental or physical inactivity or insensibility.
a state of lowered body temperature and metabolic activity assumed by many animals in response to adverse environmental conditions, especially cold and heat. The torpid state may last overnight, as in temperate-zone hummingbirds and some insects and reptiles; or it may last for months, in the case of true hibernation and the winter torpor of many cold-blooded vertebrates.