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Definition in people:  inactivity resulting from lethargy and lack of vigor or energy


in animals:  a condition of biological rest or suspended animation — (could be in the evening, during the cold, or as in a dormant state all winter)
  • She fell into a deep torpor.
torpor = lethargy (a state of lazy inactivity)
  • And within five minutes, the class had sunk back into its usual torpor.
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  • torpor = lethargy (lack of energy or vigor)
  • At length the death-stricken old man lay quietly in the torpor of mental and bodily exhaustion, with an imperceptible pulse, and breath that grew fainter and fainter, except when a long, deep, and irregular inspiration seemed to prelude the flight of his spirit.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The Minister's Black Veil
  • torpor = inactivity
  • She was the only one of his family who could rouse the old man from the torpor in which he seemed to live.
    Cather, Willa  --  My Antonia
  • She still lay back in the chair, possessed by a torpor like the torpor of death—insensible to sound, insensible to touch.
    Collins, Wilkie  --  The Haunted Hotel
  • LOUISA awoke from a torpor, and her eyes languidly opened on her old bed at home, and her old room.
    Dickens, Charles  --  Hard Times
  • His years were too heavy upon him, the debility of disease and the lethargy and torpor of the silence and the cold were too profound.
    London, Jack  --  The Red One
  • Bazarov did not get up again that day, and passed the whole night in heavy, half-unconscious torpor.
    Ivan Turgenev  --  Fathers and Sons
  • The plan had been to feed the beasts and chain them in their torpor, just as the queen had done.
    George R.R. Martin  --  A Dance With Dragons
  • When there she threw herself on the bed with her clothes on, and lay in apparent torpor, as she had done once before on a memorable day of grief.
    George Eliot  --  Middlemarch
  • Delegate William Hooper of North Carolina, another signer of the Declaration of Independence, described a prevailing "torpor" in Congress.
    David G. McCullough  --  1776
  • Scarcely had I finished my repast, when I felt myself sink by degrees into a strange torpor.
    Alexandre Dumas  --  The Three Musketeers
  • Thomas feels something crack inside, releasing him from the torpor that stifled his movements and slowed his thoughts.
    Abraham Verghese  --  Cutting for Stone
  • The bodies prone in them seemed startled out of their torpor by his movement.
    Joseph Conrad  --  Lord Jim
  • A dull torpor of the soul or the dullness of the thundercloud, charged with intellection and capable of the gloom of God?
    James Joyce  --  A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
  • They slept much of the time and often did nothing, in animal-like torpor.
    Robert A. Heinlein  --  Tunnel In the Sky
  • They shared in the torpor of the town and in its puerile agitations.
    Albert Camus  --  The Plague
  • The thought of a duty unfulfilled shook off his torpor, and he hurried from the abode of drunkenness.
    Jules Verne  --  Around the World in 80 Days
  • Then came again that rolling noise like thunder which had awakened me out of torpor.
    Jules Verne  --  A Journey to the Center of the Earth
  • Little by little she sank into a torpor—she fell silent.
    Upton Sinclair  --  The Jungle

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