View synonyms for paralyze


[ par-uh-lahyz ]

verb (used with object)

, par·a·lyzed, par·a·lyz·ing.
  1. to affect with paralysis.
  2. to bring to a condition of helpless stoppage, inactivity, or inability to act:

    The strike paralyzed communications.

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Other Words From

  • 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

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Word History and Origins

Origin of paralyze1

First recorded in 1795–1805; back formation from paralysis, modeled on analyze

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Synonym Study

See shock 1.

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Example Sentences

Robber flies, and many other families including the horse flies, have devised a way to paralyze their prey, or parts of it, before settling down to eat from or on them.

So we have to arm people with the facts, but I’ve never been more unsure and paralyzed by individual coverage decisions than I have been in the last two or three months.

From Vox

Yes, the filibuster paralyzes governance and leaves terrible environmental, social, political, and economic problems to fester.

From Vox

They are paralyzed between their commitment to their agenda and their fear of what Republicans might do if they retake power in a majoritarian Senate.

From Vox

“The impression is that of a country in stalemate, paralyzed by politics and tones that are foreign to its tradition,” Veltroni said.

From Fortune

So will letting Rebecca and Rhonda get hitched paralyze republican governance in the United States in some similar way?

They may have been afraid, and in most cases no doubt were, but their fears did not paralyze them.

His sister killed herself as a teenager, and her death continues to paralyze the Donovan boys in intriguing ways.

“A destructive cyberattack could paralyze the nation,” Panetta said.

For most people who are already in a vulnerable state, that kind of shock is more likely to discourage and paralyze them.

For a moment the horrible possibilities seemed to paralyze every nerve and thought.

Its direct effects are to blunt the faculty of correct thinking, and to paralyze the power of vigorous action.

The retirement of the leaders of the House of Commons served to paralyze the government's resistance.

We know that if we stick a pin into a certain spot we shall paralyze the left forefinger.

At first he had seized every chance of talking to them; but either his own shyness or theirs seemed to paralyze him.