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.
Click for a side-by-side comparison of meanings. Use the word comparison feature to learn the differences between similar and commonly confused words.
- 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. 2023
How to use paralysis in a sentence
Other labs are testing implanted electrodes in people with paralysis.Can privacy coexist with technology that reads and changes brain activity? | Laura Sanders | February 11, 2021 | Science News
At home, only by acting on that conviction can we avoid paralysis.Madeleine Albright: 'Us vs. Them' Thinking Is Tearing America Apart. But Here's Why I'm Still Hopeful About the Future | Madeleine Albright | January 15, 2021 | Time
After decades of work and mass vaccination campaigns that have spared millions of children from paralysis, the world is close to wiping out polio.A new polio vaccine joins the fight to vanquish the paralyzing disease | Aimee Cunningham | January 8, 2021 | Science News
Its long-term effect on our lives is still unclear, but that uncertainty must not induce paralysis.How one of the world’s biggest banks plans to tackle climate change | matthewheimer | October 16, 2020 | Fortune
The company settled into a kind of paralysis, unable to either deliver on or dial back its ambitions.Magic Leap tried to create an alternate reality. Its founder was already in one | Verne Kopytoff | September 26, 2020 | Fortune
Obama has long argued that Republican obstructionism is to blame for the current paralysis in government.
The shooting left Brady with slurred speech, and with partial paralysis, which required him to use a wheelchair.Jim Brady, Reagan’s Gentle ‘Bear’ Who Roared Back to Life After Being Shot | Eleanor Clift | August 4, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
A feeling of helplessness and its resulting paralysis are the enemy of the Good.
Yet not everyone is caught up this vortex of paralysis and resentment.
Lou continued to hope that his creeping paralysis could be halted.The Stacks: The Day Lou Gehrig Delivered Baseball’s Gettysburg Address | Ray Robinson | July 4, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Suffering from paralysis for years previous, his mental energy, as a chronic invalid, was amazing.The Philippine Islands | John Foreman
These symptoms may be present in a variety of degrees, and in advanced cases even imbecility or paralysis may ensue.A Statistical Inquiry Into the Nature and Treatment of Epilepsy | Alexander Hughes Bennett
paralysis has unnerved and unstrung the whole system and yet the mind has remained uninjured.Gospel Philosophy | J. H. Ward
Of course, if it's repeated enough, it will end up as a permanent paralysis of the part stimulated.Insidekick | Jesse Franklin Bone
Overhead a bird chirped in loneliness, and the sky slowly turned pearly hued as the paralysis left him.Restricted Tool | Malcolm B. Morehart
British Dictionary definitions for paralysis
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
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
Scientific definitions for paralysis
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.
Cultural definitions for paralysis
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.