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an abnormal lack of energy, esp as the result of a disease
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a morbid condition similar to sleep and characterized by immobility, absence of reactions to external stimuli, and marked weakening of all external signs of life (mors putativa).

Even the most extreme cases of lethargy can be distinguished from death, thereby precluding the possibility of erroneous burial of the living. Lethargy may be seen in hysteria, general exhaustion, and after intense agitation. An attack is sudden and lasts several hours to many days. Consciousness is usually retained: the patients perceive and remember what is happening around them but they do not react to it. The torpor associated with encephalitis and narcolepsy should be distinguished from lethargy.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


A morbid condition of drowsiness or stupor; mental torpor.
A measure of the energy which has been lost by a neutron, equal to the natural logarithm of the ratio of the initial energy of a neutron to its energy at any given point in the slowing-down process.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
The thought process of eating minimal food and training in to the ground will only make you tired and lethargic. This will affect your day to day life.
Zainuddin said Malaysia-Mongolia diplomatic relationship turned lethargic since 1997 with not many exchanges of visits at the ministerial and official levels as well as from the private sector since then.
RSPCA inspector Jenny Anderton said: "This poor snake was dumped at the home of an unsuspecting Bagillt resident; cold, very lethargic and showing signs of septicemia.
"Both students were acting and feeling lethargic," School (http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2018/02/09/laurel-highlands-high-school-drug-laced-candy/) Superintendent Dr.
New Delhi [India], September 4 ( ANI ): A Delhi court on Monday pulled up the police and called their action "lethargic" in the issue of de-sealing of the Leela Hotel room, where Congress leader Shashi Tharoor's wife Sunanda Pushkar was found dead, back in 2014.
"We looked lethargic so I don't know if we've been doing too much but Accrington looked good, to be fair to them.
The Minister allaying the fears of red tapes and lethargic attitudes said to be on the part of the public sector invited the private sector chambers entrepreneurs to bring any such issues to the immediate attention of the finance ministry without making generalized allegations.
Lackadaisical, Lenten-faced Lammergeier laying lethargic locomotion, lick-for-leather, lightning-before-death lingers.
The "lethargic" bird was seen by members of the public on the road near Danycoed, Ystrad in Pentre.
P, age 85, is admitted to the hospital after he fell at home 2 days ago and is now lethargic, sleepy, and confused and answers questions slowly.
RSPCA officers said the birds were found on Monday after a canoeist reported seeing four dead birds and several others who seemed lethargic and struggling to move, between Broadhaven and Newgale in St Brides Bay.