torpor

noun
tor·​por | \ˈtȯr-pər \

Definition of torpor 

1a : a state of mental and motor inactivity with partial or total insensibility

b : 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

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Choose the Right Synonym for torpor

lethargy, languor, lassitude, stupor, torpor mean physical or mental inertness. lethargy implies such drowsiness or aversion to activity as is induced by disease, injury, or drugs. months of lethargy followed my accident languor suggests inertia induced by an enervating climate or illness or love. languor induced by a tropical vacation lassitude stresses listlessness or indifference resulting from fatigue or poor health. a depression marked by lassitude stupor implies a deadening of the mind and senses by shock, narcotics, or intoxicants. lapsed into an alcoholic stupor torpor implies a state of suspended animation as of hibernating animals but may suggest merely extreme sluggishness. a once alert mind now in a 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.

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

Recent Examples on the Web

So, too, here: When the game ended, the explosion of joy from the French players, and their small squadron of fans, felt somehow out of place, out of context, with the torpor that had descended. Rory Smith, New York Times, "France, With Flash to Spare, Reaches the World Cup Final," 11 July 2018 They were placed in refrigerators, forcing them into torpor for easy handling and transportation. Lucy Cooke, ajc, "US military is interested in bats as possible defenders against bioweapons," 3 July 2018 They were placed in refrigerators, forcing them into torpor for easy handling and transportation. Lucy Cooke, ajc, "US military is interested in bats as possible defenders against bioweapons," 3 July 2018 They were placed in refrigerators, forcing them into torpor for easy handling and transportation. Lucy Cooke, ajc, "US military is interested in bats as possible defenders against bioweapons," 3 July 2018 They were placed in refrigerators, forcing them into torpor for easy handling and transportation. Lucy Cooke, ajc, "US military is interested in bats as possible defenders against bioweapons," 3 July 2018 They were placed in refrigerators, forcing them into torpor for easy handling and transportation. Lucy Cooke, ajc, "US military is interested in bats as possible defenders against bioweapons," 3 July 2018 They were placed in refrigerators, forcing them into torpor for easy handling and transportation. Lucy Cooke, ajc, "US military is interested in bats as possible defenders against bioweapons," 3 July 2018 They were placed in refrigerators, forcing them into torpor for easy handling and transportation. Lucy Cooke, ajc, "US military is interested in bats as possible defenders against bioweapons," 3 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'torpor.' 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 torpor

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for torpor

Middle English, from Latin, from torpēre

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Dictionary Entries near torpor

torpidness

torpify

torpitude

torpor

torporific

torquate

torque

Statistics for torpor

Last Updated

20 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for torpor

The first known use of torpor was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for torpor

torpor

noun

English Language Learners Definition of torpor

: a state of not being active and having very little energy

torpor

noun
tor·​por | \ˈtȯr-pər \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on torpor

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for torpor

Spanish Central: Translation of torpor

Nglish: Translation of torpor for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about torpor

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