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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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for palsied
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • An instant she stood as if palsied, trembling, from head to foot, although he could perceive nothing.

    Beth Norvell Randall Parrish
  • Who that saw him come had not deemed him palsied in good earnest?'

  • The weakness and divisions of Christendom invited their approach and palsied resistance.

    Peter the Hermit Daniel A. Goodsell
  • I was palsied with doubt, and the golden moments were fleeting, were fleeting.

    The Bacillus of Beauty Harriet Stark
  • She was palsied, incoherent with dread; in her eyes was a look of death.

  • 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
  • She stretched a palsied hand to him as if it would feel his flesh to reassure her of its reality.

    The Strength of the Pines Edison Marshall
  • Trafford uttered a groan of despair, and stood, for an instant, like one palsied.

    Culm Rock Glance Gaylord
  • Yet bravely he strove again to give tongue-lash for tongue-lash—by reaching out one palsied hand toward his weapon.

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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