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[pawl-zeed] /ˈpɔl zid/
paralyzed; unable to move or control certain muscles.
Origin of palsied
First recorded in 1960-65; palsy1 + -ed3
Related forms
unpalsied, adjective


[pawl-zee] /ˈpɔl zi/
noun, plural palsies.
any of a variety of atonal muscular conditions characterized by tremors of the body parts, as the hands, arms, or legs, or of the entire body.
paralysis (def 1b).
verb (used with object), palsied, palsying.
to paralyze.
1250-1300; Middle English, variant of parlesie < Middle French paralisie < Latin paralysis paralysis
Related forms
palsylike, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for palsied
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I was palsied with doubt, and the golden moments were fleeting, were fleeting.

    The Bacillus of Beauty Harriet Stark
  • His mind was palsied with his body; its utmost energy was peevishness.

  • Madison punched the button for me with a palsied, manicured thumb.

    Measure for a Loner James Judson Harmon
  • He became angry and said: "I should rather be palsied in one-half of my body than do so."

    The Faith of Islam Edward Sell
  • Trafford uttered a groan of despair, and stood, for an instant, like one palsied.

    Culm Rock Glance Gaylord
  • Who that saw him come had not deemed him palsied in good earnest?'

  • His palsied tongue could not utter a single cry for the relief of his agony.

    The Day of Wrath Maurus Jkai
  • "By strangulation," said the old gipsy, raising her palsied hand to her throat.

    Rookwood William Harrison Ainsworth
  • palsied with fear of what might be within, he sat, watched, and grew pale.

British Dictionary definitions for palsied


noun (pl) -sies
paralysis, esp of a specified type: cerebral palsy
verb (transitive) -sies, -sying, -sied
to paralyse
Derived Forms
palsied, adjective
Word Origin
C13 palesi, from Old French paralisie, from Latin paralysis
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for palsied

1540s, from palsy.



"disease causing paralysis," c.1300, palesie, from Anglo-French parlesie, Old French paralisie, from Vulgar Latin *paralysia, from Latin paralysis (see paralysis).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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palsied in Medicine

palsy pal·sy (pôl'zē)
Complete or partial muscle paralysis, often accompanied by loss of sensation and uncontrollable body movements or tremors.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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