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See more synonyms for paralyze on Thesaurus.com
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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Also especially British, par·a·lyse.

Origin of paralyze

1795–1805; back formation from paralysis, modeled on analyze
Related formspar·a·ly·zant, adjective, nounpar·a·ly·za·tion, nounpar·a·lyz·er, nounpar·a·lyz·ing·ly, adverbsem·i·par·a·lyzed, adjectiveun·par·a·lyzed, adjective

Synonyms for paralyze

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2. See shock1.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for paralyze

halt, demolish, incapacitate, freeze, disable, destroy, stun, weaken, bemuse, benumb, daze, appall, lame, transfix, debilitate, nonplus, stupefy, disarm, astound, arrest

Examples from the Web for paralyze

Contemporary Examples of paralyze

Historical Examples of paralyze

Word Origin and History for paralyze


1804, from French paralyser (16c.), from Old French paralisie "paralysis," from Latin paralysis (see paralysis). Figurative use from 1805. Related: Paralyzed; paralyzing.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

paralyze in Medicine


  1. To affect with paralysis; cause to be paralytic.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.