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[tawr-pid] /ˈtɔr pɪd/
inactive or sluggish.
slow; dull; apathetic; lethargic.
dormant, as a hibernating or estivating animal.
Origin of torpid1
1605-15; < Latin torpidus numb, equivalent to torp(ēre) to be stiff or numb + -idus -id4
Related forms
torpidity, torpidness, noun
torpidly, adverb
Can be confused
torpid, turbid, turgid.
2. indolent. 3. See inactive.
1. energetic.


[tawr-pid] /ˈtɔr pɪd/
an eight-oared, clinker-built boat used for races at Oxford University during the Lenten term.
First recorded in 1830-40; special use of torpid1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for torpid
Historical Examples
  • When in action he was superb and safe to follow; only when torpid he was dangerous.

  • I was not deceived then, it was a torpid man that I had under my eyes, and not a dead one!

  • I was a cipher in this august company, and felt subdued, not to say torpid.

    Life On The Mississippi, Complete Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
  • His mind, too, was in a torpid state, but might gradually awaken.

    Fairy Fingers Anna Cora Mowatt Ritchie
  • Bees are not, as some suppose, in a dormant, or torpid condition in Winter.

  • torpid and prone, I lay there numbed into absolute quiescence.

    Child and Country Will Levington Comfort
  • In the white of his eye there was a torpid and composed abstraction.

    The Island Pharisees John Galsworthy
  • They are the dullest, slowest, most torpid of mortal creatures.

    Over the Teacups Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
  • He was torpid, and the look on his face was sullen and vindictive.

    The Trembling of a Leaf William Somerset Maugham
  • The muscles of the face, more than those of any other part of the body, are lazy and torpid.

    The Woman Beautiful Helen Follett Stevans
British Dictionary definitions for torpid


apathetic, sluggish, or lethargic
(of a hibernating animal) dormant; having greatly reduced metabolic activity
unable to move or feel
Derived Forms
torpidity, noun
torpidly, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from Latin torpidus, from torpēre to be numb, motionless
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for torpid

1610s, from Latin torpidus "benumbed," from torpere "be numb or stiff" (see torpor).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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torpid in Medicine

torpid tor·pid (tôr'pĭd)

  1. Deprived of power of motion or feeling.

  2. Lethargic; apathetic.

tor·pid'i·ty n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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