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See more synonyms for palsy on Thesaurus.com
noun, plural pal·sies.
  1. 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.
  2. paralysis(def 1b).
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verb (used with object), pal·sied, pal·sy·ing.
  1. to paralyze.
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Origin of palsy1

1250–1300; Middle English, variant of parlesie < Middle French paralisie < Latin paralysis paralysis
Related formspal·sy·like, adjective


adjective Slang.
  1. palsy-walsy.
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Origin of palsy2

First recorded in 1925–30; pal + -sy
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for palsy


noun plural -sies
  1. paralysis, esp of a specified typecerebral palsy
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verb -sies, -sying or -sied (tr)
  1. to paralyse
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Derived Formspalsied, 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

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).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

palsy in Medicine


  1. Complete or partial muscle paralysis, often accompanied by loss of sensation and uncontrollable body movements or tremors.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.