paralysis

[ puh-ral-uh-sis ]
/ pəˈræl ə sɪs /

noun, plural pa·ral·y·ses [puh-ral-uh-seez] /pəˈræl əˌsiz/.

Pathology.
  1. a loss or impairment of voluntary movement in a body part, caused by injury or disease of the nerves, brain, or spinal cord.
  2. 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.

Origin of paralysis

before 1150; < Latin < Greek parálysis, equivalent to paraly-, var stem of paralȳ́ein to loosen (i.e., disable) on one side (para- para-1 + lȳ́ein to loosen) + -sis -sis; replacing Middle English paralisi(e) < Old French < Latin, as above; replacing late Old English paralisin (accusative) < Latin, as above; cf. palsy1

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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for paralysis

British Dictionary definitions for paralysis

paralysis

/ (pəˈrælɪsɪs) /

noun plural -ses (-ˌsiːz)

pathol
  1. 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
  2. a disease characterized by such impairment or loss; palsy
cessation or impairment of activityparalysis 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 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Medicine definitions for paralysis

paralysis

[ pə-rălĭ-sĭs ]

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.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for paralysis

paralysis

[ pə-rălĭ-sĭs ]

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 paralysis

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.