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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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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 second condition, Salehi said, was for the talks to be quick, and not drag on "lethargically." But the talks actually took a year and a half and hardly qualified as speedy.
Our son Miles' small flock continue to lamb and we are getting up through the night to check on the lambing shed where the few mumsto-be are lethargically lying around in the straw and eating hay.
Then, as our ship heeled just a little further, the sunset glinted shyly against her acres of sails, turning them a shade of dusky rose pink as they flapped lethargically above our heads.
A sea of tall grass gives way to a fairground, to be replaced in turn by a group of cows, lying lethargically across a patchwork quilt of green.
I lethargically turned my gaze to the RDO shack, wondering what I'd done to arrive here twice in one day.
Razzak himself was subsequently at fault in the field as he moved lethargically at mid-on towards a miscued swing by Ramdin, then on 35, off Mashrafe Mortaza.
Mind you, it's an improvement on some recent years, when the only bees I've seen have been struggling lethargically before dying.
The 15ft-long animal, who used to swim up to 100 miles a day in the wild, spends long spells just floating lethargically in her pool.
Speakers extended killings responsibility to the government stating that it had been acting lethargically. They said strict action against culprits of Rawalpindi riots would have curtailed further killings.
Other selection Hunter Mahan 25-1 Unlike many players who have been lethargically globetrotting for extra bucks there was no messing from Hunter Mahan, who shunted his firmly to the back of the garage after the Presidents Cup.
"We are playing lethargically at times, playing football without any emotion and just going through the motions," he said.
The contradiction of owning a vehicle that you will in most probability never utilise more than 25 per cent of, was taken to new heights for me last night as I watched two freshly pressed and starched individuals in a monster pick-up truck, carelessly and lethargically double park their pickup a full three metres from the door of my local grocery shop.