tor·​pid | \ ˈtȯr-pəd \

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 \ 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

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 Thomas and cinematographer Inti Briones know when to push that air of torpid beauty too — the black-and-white imagery is simultaneously past-evocative and languidly atmospheric. Robert Abele,, "The eyes see everything in Brazilian historical drama 'Vazante'," 25 Jan. 2018 The Americans were shockingly torpid in the heat and humidity at Trinidad and Tobago, wilting in a 2-1 defeat that kept them out of the World Cup for the first time since 1986. Jeré Longman, New York Times, "U.S. Soccer Takes One Giant Step Back," 11 Oct. 2017

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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Time Traveler for torpid

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

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English Language Learners Definition of torpid

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


tor·​pid | \ ˈtȯr-pəd \

Medical Definition of torpid

: sluggish in functioning or acting : characterized by torpor

Other Words from torpid

torpidity \ tȯr-​ˈpid-​ət-​ē \ noun, plural -ties

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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

Comments on torpid

What made you want to look up torpid? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


tremendous in size, volume, or degree

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