[ tawr-per ]
/ ˈtɔr pər /


sluggish inactivity or inertia.
lethargic indifference; apathy.
a state of suspended physical powers and activities.
dormancy, as of a hibernating animal.

Nearby words

  1. torpedo-boat destroyer,
  2. torpedoman,
  3. torpex,
  4. torpid,
  5. torpidly,
  6. torpor retinae,
  7. torporific,
  8. torquate,
  9. torquay,
  10. torque

Origin of torpor

1600–10; < Latin: numbness, equivalent to torp(ēre) to be stiff or numb + -or -or1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for torpor

British Dictionary definitions for torpor


/ (ˈtɔːpə) /


a state of torpidity
Derived Formstorporific, adjective

Word Origin for torpor

C17: from Latin: inactivity, from torpēre to be 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

Word Origin and History for torpor



c.1600, from Latin torpor "numbness," from torpere "be numb," from PIE root *ster- "stiff" (cf. Old Church Slavonic trupeti, Lithuanian tirpstu "to become rigid;" Greek stereos "solid;" Old English steorfan "to die;" see sterile).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for torpor


[ tôrpər ]


A state of mental or physical inactivity or insensibility.
Lethargy; apathy.
Related formstor′po•rific (-pə-rĭfĭk) adj.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.