SYNONYMS | EXAMPLES | WORD ORIGIN noun, plural pa·ral·y·ses . [p uh- ral- uh-seez] /pəˈræl əˌsiz/ . Pathology a loss or impairment of voluntary movement in a body part, caused by injury or disease of the nerves, brain, or spinal cord. a disease characterized by this, especially palsy. a state of helpless stoppage, inactivity, or inability to act: The strike caused a paralysis of all shipping. RELATED WORDS laziness
immobility Origin of paralysis before 1150;
var stem of
to loosen (i.e., disable) on one side (
para- para- 1
to loosen) +
Middle English paralisi(e
as above; replacing
late Old English paralisin
as above; cf.
palsy 1 Related forms non·pa·ral·y·sis, noun, plural non·pa·ral·y·ses. sem·i·pa·ral·y·sis, noun, plural sem·i·pa·ral·y·ses. verb (used with object), par·a·lyzed, par·a·lyz·ing. to bring to a condition of helpless stoppage, inactivity, or inability to act: The strike paralyzed communications.
, especially British par·a·lyse. Origin of paralyze 1795–1805;
back formation from
, modeled on
analyze Related forms par·a·ly·zant, adjective, noun par·a·ly·za·tion, noun par·a·lyz·er, noun par·a·lyz·ing·ly, adverb sem·i·par·a·lyzed, adjective un·par·a·lyzed, adjective
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Examples from the Web for paralyses Historical Examples of paralyses British Dictionary definitions for paralyses noun plural -ses ( -ˌsiːz) pathol impairment or loss of voluntary muscle function or of sensation ( sensory paralysis) in a part or area of the body, usually caused by a lesion or disorder of the muscles or the nerves supplying them a disease characterized by such impairment or loss; palsy cessation or impairment of activity paralysis of industry by strikes Word Origin for paralysis
C16: via Latin from Greek
paralusis; see para- 1, -lysis
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
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Word Origin and History for paralyses v.
1804, from French
paralyser (16c.), from Old French paralisie "paralysis," from Latin paralysis (see paralysis). Figurative use from 1805. Related: Paralyzed; paralyzing. n.
1520s, from Latin
paralysis, from Greek paralysis "paralysis, palsy," literally "loosening," from paralyein "disable, enfeeble," from para- "beside" (see para- (1)) + lyein "loosen, untie" (see lose).
Figurative use from 1813. Earlier form was
paralysie (late 14c., see palsy). Old English equivalent was lyft adl (see left (adj.)) or crypelnes "crippleness."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Medicine definitions for paralyses n. pl. pa•ral•y•ses ( -sēz′) Loss of power of voluntary movement in a muscle through injury or through disease of its nerve supply. Loss of sensation over a region of the body. v. To affect with paralysis; cause to be paralytic.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Science definitions for paralyses Loss or impairment of voluntary movement or sensation in a part of the body, usually as a result of neurologic injury or disease.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Culture definitions for paralyses paralysis [(puh- ral-uh-sis)]
The loss of voluntary movement in a body part. Paralysis results from damage to the
nerves that supply the affected part of the body.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.