Word of The Day for Tuesday, March 1, 2011


tor•por (TAWR-per)  n

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

torporific adjective

c.1600;  from L. torpor "numbness," from torpere "be numb," from PIE base *ster- "stiff"

Synonyms: lethargy, apathy, disinterest, dormancy, drowsiness, dullness, idleness, impassivity, inaction, inactivity, languor, laziness, lifelessness, listlessness, passiveness, sleepiness, sloth, slowness, sluggishness, slumber, stupor, torpidity, torpidness
Related Words: torpedo, torpid

Sentence Examples:
• At length the announcement of tea and coffee in the cedar parlor roused all hands from this temporary torpor. Every one awoke marvellously renovated, and while sipping the refreshing beverage out of the Baronet's old-fashioned hereditary china, began to think of departing for their several homes. -Tales of a Traveller, Washington Irving

• I understand that this torpor is quite common with men and women suddenly bereaved.  I believe that a whole week passed before my brain recovered any really vital motion; and then such feeble thought as I could exert was wholly occupied with the desperate stupidity of the whole affair.  -Old Fires and Profitable Ghosts, A. T. Quiller-Couch

• The anguish, the torpor, the toil
  Will have passed to other millions
  Consumed by the same desires.
  Ages will come and go,
  Darkness will blot the lights
  And the tower will be laid on the earth.
-Rivers to the Sea, Sara Teasdale

Sources: Dictionary.com, Online Etymology

Word-E: A Word-A-Day

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