Definition of torpor
1a : a state of mental and motor inactivity with partial or total insensibilityb : a state of lowered physiological activity typically characterized by reduced metabolism, heart rate, respiration, and body temperature that occurs in varying degrees especially in hibernating and estivating animals
Examples of torpor in a sentence
The news aroused him from his torpor.
<after a lifetime of setbacks, defeats, and failures, he could only greet the latest bad news with a resigned fatalism and dull torpor>
Did You Know?
Our English word torpor looks the same and means the same thing as Latin torpor, from which it was borrowed into Middle English. It stems from the Latin verb torpēre, which means "to be sluggish or numb." "Torpor" first appeared in a 13th-century guide for religious recluses, where it referred to a spiritual or intellectual lethargy, but there is very little evidence of its use over next the 400 years. It began showing up again in the early 1600s in reference to both mental and physical sluggishness. The related adjective "torpid" (from the Latin adjective torpidus) entered the language in the 15th century.
Origin and Etymology of torpor
Middle English, from Latin, from torpēre
First Known Use: 13th century
Synonym Discussion of torpor
TORPOR Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of torpor for English Language Learners
: a state of not being active and having very little energy
Medical Definition of torpor
: a state of mental and motor inactivity with partial or total insensibility : extreme sluggishness or stagnation of function
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