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  • a mind grown torpid in old age
  • torpid frogs
  • He sat there, torpid, sweating, and tongue-tied, as, after the manner of the famous program, his life was sketchily reviewed.
    John Hersey  --  Hiroshima
  • He had detected the latent sensuality, which unfolded under his delicate sense of her nature’s requirements like a torpid, torrid, sensitive blossom.
    Kate Chopin  --  The Awakening

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  • I could remember staring torpidly through these windows a hundred times out at the elms of the Center Common.
    John Knowles  --  A Separate Peace
  • There was also one or two vagrant, torpid wasps.
    William Styron  --  Sophie’s Choice
  • "Don’t be a stranger, eh?" he said, which was the same thing he’d always said when I was a little kid and my mother came to pick me up after sleepovers— same torpid voice, just a half beat too slow.
    Donna Tartt  --  The Goldfinch
  • Their torpidity, under the influence of sunshine and Mother Council, had given way to a sort of spasmodic cheerfulness, as insects in winter revive when laid on the hearth.
    Hamlin Garland  --  Under the Lion’s Paw
  • Even when he was awake he was completely torpid.
    George Orwell  --  1984
  • In short, the almost torpid creatures of my own fancy twitted me with imbecility, and not without fair occasion.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The Scarlet Letter

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  • The two ships becalmed on a torpid sea, I believed to be marine phantoms.
    Charlotte Bronte  --  Jane Eyre
  • His was the overwhelming slumber of the torpid bear and the satiated leech.
    Victor Hugo  --  Les Miserables
  • I know this, Harry thought, though his brain felt torpid and slack.
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  • Memory was not so utterly torpid in Silas that it could not be awakened by these words.
    George Eliot  --  Silas Marner
  • Jimmy, under generous influences, felt the buried zeal of his father wake to life within him: he aroused the torpid Routh at last.
    James Joyce  --  Dubliners
  • I lie awake while thou sleepest, I weep while thou singest, I am faint with fasting while thou art sluggish and torpid from pure repletion.
    Miguel de Cervantes  --  Don Quixote
  • Their lighted windows were dimmed by a bluish cast, the outlines of their walls were dissolving, long bands of mist were coiling among them in torpid, unhurried waves.
    Ayn Rand  --  Atlas Shrugged
  • By October San Piedro had slipped off its summer reveler’s mask to reveal a torpid, soporific dreamer whose winter bed was made of wet green moss.
    David Guterson  --  Snow Falling on Cedars
  • Once the body is fully immersed, there is a torpid peace.
    Joy Kogawa  --  Obasan
  • But while hapless Dough-Boy was by nature dull and torpid in his intellects, Pip, though over tender-hearted, was at bottom very bright, with that pleasant, genial, jolly brightness peculiar to his tribe; a tribe, which ever enjoy all holidays and festivities with finer, freer relish than any other race.
    Herman Melville  --  Moby Dick
  • They were pleasant spring days, in which the winter of man’s discontent was thawing as well as the earth, and the life that had lain torpid began to stretch itself.
    Henry David Thoreau  --  Walden
  • It was the first really good laugh Captain Black had enjoyed since the day Major Major outsmarted him and was appointed squadron commander, and he rose with torpid enthusiasm and stationed himself behind the front counter in order to wring the most enjoyment from the occasion when the bombardiers arrived for their map kits.
    Joseph Heller  --  Catch-22
  • A thoroughly mysterious coming and going, like the surging of torpid tides.
    Ralph Ellison  --  Invisible Man
  • Hence, it came about, that when necessity constrained him to speak, his tongue was torpid, awkward, and like a door whose hinges have grown rusty.
    Victor Hugo  --  The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  • The organism is torpid and brackish.
    Susanna Kaysen  --  Girl Interrupted
  • Wedded to Rowena, indeed, her nobler and more generous soul may yet awake the better nature which is torpid within him.
    Sir Walter Scott  --  Ivanhoe
  • His soul sickened at the thought of a torpid snaky life feeding itself out of the tender marrow of his life and fattening upon the slime of lust.
    James Joyce  --  A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
  • At about this point, Mr. Gradgrind’s eye would fall upon her; and under the influence of that wintry piece of fact, she would become torpid again.
    Charles Dickens  --  Hard Times
  • The bold and reckless young blood of ten-years back was subjugated and was turned into a torpid, submissive, middle-aged, stout gentleman.
    William Makepeace Thackeray  --  Vanity Fair
  • Not with such fervor prays the torpid recluse, looking forward to the cold, sunless, stagnant calm of a day that is to be like innumerable yesterdays.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The House of the Seven Gables
  • She stayed there all day long, torpid, half dressed, and from time to time burning Turkish pastilles which she had bought at Rouen in an Algerian’s shop.
    Gustave Flaubert  --  Madame Bovary
  • Oh, yes; but my heart was torpid, and therefore quiet.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  Rappaccini’s Daughter
  • Two persons, who, through delay, had only arrived from the country during this morning, and had now been in this room only five minutes, stood listening to these words and looking at the King, then at the scarecrow, then at the King again, in a sort of torpid bewilderment.
    Mark Twain  --  The Prince and The Pauper
  • drippings in the form of a torpid, gigantic, hermaphroditic, horizontal figure named Ymir.
    Joseph Campbell  --  The Hero With a Thousand Faces
  • Many are not so stealthy and gradual as we may be apt to imagine in considering the general torpidity of a moor or waste.
    Thomas Hardy  --  Far from the Madding Crowd
  • The chauffeur, a Russian Czar of the period of Ivan the Terrible, was a self-appointed guide, and the resplendent names—Cannes, Nice, Monte Carlo—began to glow through their torpid camouflage, whispering of old kings come here to dine or die, of rajahs tossing Buddha’s eyes to English ballerinas, of Russian princes turning the weeks into Baltic twilights in the lost caviare days.
    F. Scott Fitzgerald  --  Tender is the Night
  • …for red blood, as other men have for red wine—the son of the Fiend, as was reported, and one who had cheated his father at dice when gambling with him for his own soul; Giambattista Cibo, who in mockery took the name of Innocent, and into whose torpid veins the blood of three lads was infused by a Jewish doctor; Sigismondo Malatesta, the lover of Isotta, and the lord of Rimini, whose effigy was burned at Rome as the enemy of God and man, who strangled Polyssena with a napkin, and gave…
    Oscar Wilde  --  The Picture of Dorian Gray
  • There is little time left to answer the question; my powers flag; I become torpid.
    Virginia Woolf  --  The Waves
  • In Spring like torpid snakes my enemies awaken.
    Thomas Wolfe  --  Look Homeward, Angel
  • He could hear no buzzing as the torpid gatherers went about their work.
    Dean Koontz  --  Sole Survivor
  • It took no magician to see he was amazingly angry about something, for all his quiet and even torpid demeanour.
    Joseph Conrad  --  Lord Jim
  • He entered-thrust of warmth of the gaslit hallway, stagnant air suffused with the dusty, torpid odor of carpets.
    Henry Roth  --  Call It Sleep
  • The torpid river itself.
    Christina Garcia  --  Dreaming in Cuban
  • The hares on the down, stupid and torpid with cold, were resigned to sinking further and further into the freezing heart of snow and silence.
    Richard Adams  --  Watership Down
  • I always used to fall into a sort of torpid condition after such a series, and lost my memory almost entirely; and though I was not altogether without reason at such times, yet I had no logical power of thought.
    Fyodor Dostoyevsky  --  The Idiot
  • Thunder anxiety was not unusual in dogs, he told us, especially in Florida, where huge boomers rolled across the peninsula nearly every afternoon during the torpid summer months.
    John Grogan  --  Marley & Me
  • He wanted to take her to parties, to drive her around by car, and to involve her in the decoration of her new home, but Blanca, heavy, torpid, solitary, and the victim of an unshakable fatigue, took refuge in her knitting and embroidery.
    Isabel Allende  --  The House of Spirits
  • "This city, which was formally torpid with indolence and fettered with Quakerism," she reported proudly, "has become one military school, and every morning the sound of the drum and fife lead forth, ’A Band of Brothers Joined.’
    David McCullough  --  John Adams
  • Aware that he was looking at a silver two-handled Jacobean mug, and that Hugh Whitbread admired condescendingly with airs of connoisseurship a Spanish necklace which he thought of asking the price of in case Evelyn might like it—still Richard was torpid; could not think or move.
    Virginia Woolf  --  Mrs. Dalloway
  • So, with a sigh, because novels so often provide an anodyne and not an antidote, glide one into torpid slumbers instead of rousing one with a burning brand, I settled down with a notebook and a pencil to make what I could of Mary Carmichael’s first novel, LIFE’S ADVENTURE.
    Virginia Woolf  --  A Room of One’s Own
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