[ pawl-zee ]
/ ˈpɔl zi /

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.

Nearby words

  1. palsgrave,
  2. palsgravine,
  3. palsied,
  4. palstaff,
  5. palstave,
  6. palsy-walsy,
  7. palter,
  8. paltrow,
  9. paltry,
  10. paludal

Origin of palsy

1250–1300; Middle English, variant of parlesie < Middle French paralisie < Latin paralysis paralysis

Related formspal·sy·like, adjective


[ pal-zee ]
/ ˈpæl zi /

adjective Slang.

Origin of palsy

First recorded in 1925–30; pal + -sy Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for palsy

British Dictionary definitions for palsy


/ (ˈpɔːlzɪ) pathol /

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 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

Medicine definitions for palsy


[ pôlzē ]


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.