Torpor is a state of mental and physical inactivity. "After a huge Thanksgiving meal, my family members fall into a torpor; no one can even pick up the TV remote."

Torpor can be used in everyday speech, but it's also a scientific term for a state of deep sleep that allows animals to conserve energy. Certain species of bats, birds, and frogs rely on torpor for survival during tough times. While humans don't technically belong to this group of animals, they certainly appear to, especially after a large meal and on most Monday mornings.

Definitions of torpor

n a state of motor and mental inactivity with a partial suspension of sensibility

“he fell into a deep torpor
the torpid or resting state in which some animals pass the winter
lassitude, lethargy, sluggishness
a state of comatose torpor (as found in sleeping sickness)
mental lethargy or dullness
Type of:
physical condition, physiological condition, physiological state
the condition or state of the body or bodily functions

n inactivity resulting from lethargy and lack of vigor or energy

listlessness, torpidity, torpidness
Type of:
passiveness, passivity
the trait of remaining inactive; a lack of initiative

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.