tor·​pid | \ ˈtȯr-pəd How to pronounce torpid (audio) \

Definition of torpid

1a : sluggish in functioning or acting a torpid mind
b : having lost motion or the power of exertion or feeling : numb
c : exhibiting or characterized by torpor : dormant a torpid bird
2 : lacking in energy or vigor : apathetic, dull

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Other Words from torpid

torpidity \ tȯr-​ˈpi-​də-​tē How to pronounce torpidity (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for torpid


dull, inactive, inert, lethargic, quiescent, sleepy, sluggish



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Examples of torpid in a Sentence

a torpid sloth that refused to budge off its tree branch my tongue and throat remained torpid for a time following the endoscopy

Recent Examples on the Web

Monday’s men’s college championship between Virginia and Texas Tech was widely predicted to be a duck: a snoozy, asleep-on-the couch-by-10 p.m. bore, thanks to two torpid, defense-first, low-scoring outfits certain... Jason Gay, WSJ, "Virginia-Texas Tech: A ‘Crummy’ Championship Turns Into a Classic," 9 Apr. 2019 China’s currency has fallen more than 5% against the dollar this year, with analysts pointing to trade tensions as a major factor behind increasingly torpid economic figures out of Beijing. David Hodari, WSJ, "U.S. Stocks Shrug Off New Tariffs to Post Gains," 18 Sep. 2018 Les Bleus had churned out a pair of workmanlike victories over Australia and Peru before settling for a torpid scoreless draw against Denmark. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, "A Teenage Star Speeds France Past Argentina in World Cup," 30 June 2018 No matter how much my more musically savvy friends tried to point out its greatness, Brahms’ famous choral work has always struck me as a torpid affair with orchestral textures as thick as molasses. Patrick Neas, kansascity, "These CDs will carry classical music lovers through the summer," 25 June 2018 But given the stock’s torpid performance, opening the wallet is a risk that Biogen needs to take. Charley Grant, WSJ, "Biogen Investors Are Losing Patience," 24 Apr. 2018 Asian equities indexes moved slightly lower, with both the Shanghai and Shenzhen composite indexes down 0.1% after unofficial purchasing managers index data signaled torpid growth in the country’s manufacturing sector in April. Joanne Chiu, WSJ, "Global Stocks Rise Ahead of Fed, Trade Talks," 2 May 2018 No matter who replaces him — and a young, ambitious coach to re-energize a torpid club is the order of the day — that person will have to rebuild morale, reshape the squad and restore purpose. Rory Smith, New York Times, "Arsène Wenger Will Leave Arsenal, Proudly but Imperfectly," 20 Apr. 2018 This is a team that can, in the span of minutes, transform from a single-minded unit capable of blitzing top-ranked Duke into a disjointed collection of torpid individuals who can just as easily surrender a 16-point second-half lead. Nick Moyle, San Antonio Express-News, "With NCAA tournament status imperiled, Texas needs to find its spirit," 8 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'torpid.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of torpid

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

History and Etymology for torpid

Middle English, from Latin torpidus, from torpēre to be sluggish or numb; akin to Lithuanian tirpti to become numb

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Statistics for torpid

Last Updated

7 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for torpid

The first known use of torpid was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for torpid



English Language Learners Definition of torpid

formal : having or showing very little energy or movement : not active


tor·​pid | \ ˈtȯr-pəd How to pronounce torpid (audio) \

Medical Definition of torpid

: sluggish in functioning or acting : characterized by torpor

Other Words from torpid

torpidity \ tȯr-​ˈpid-​ət-​ē How to pronounce torpidity (audio) \ noun, plural torpidities

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More from Merriam-Webster on torpid

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for torpid

Spanish Central: Translation of torpid

Nglish: Translation of torpid for Spanish Speakers

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