paralyzed; unable to move or control certain muscles.

Origin of palsied

First recorded in 1960–65; palsy1 + -ed3
Related formsun·pal·sied, adjective



noun, plural pal·sies.

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.

verb (used with object), pal·sied, pal·sy·ing.

to paralyze.

Origin of palsy

1250–1300; Middle English, variant of parlesie < Middle French paralisie < Latin paralysis paralysis
Related formspal·sy·like, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for palsied

Contemporary Examples of palsied

Historical Examples of palsied

  • I was palsied with doubt, and the golden moments were fleeting, were fleeting.

  • 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."

  • Trafford uttered a groan of despair, and stood, for an instant, like one palsied.

    Culm Rock

    Glance Gaylord

British Dictionary definitions for palsied


noun plural -sies

paralysis, esp of a specified typecerebral palsy

verb -sies, -sying or -sied (tr)

to paralyse
Derived Formspalsied, adjective

Word Origin for palsy

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

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

palsied in Medicine




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.