While the adjective torpid sounds a lot like the noun torpedo, it actually describes something slow or even inactive, like the torpedo that's just sitting around before it's launched.

Torpid comes from the Latin word torpere, meaning "numb," which is exactly how torpid things act. A hibernating bear and a caterpillar holed up in a cocoon are two good examples. You might feel torpid sitting in front of the fire after a big meal. The mind, too, can become torpid. The writer Samuel Johnson said, “It is a man’s own fault, it is from want of use, if his mind grow torpid in old age.”

Definitions of torpid
  1. adjective
    in a condition of biological rest or suspended animation
    torpid frogs”
    synonyms: dormant, hibernating
    in a state of sleep
  2. adjective
    slow and apathetic
    “a mind grown torpid in old age”
    synonyms: inert, sluggish, soggy
    not active physically or mentally
Word Family

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