[kwod-ruh-plee-jee-uh, -juh]

Origin of quadriplegia

First recorded in 1920–25; quadri- + -plegia
Also called tetraplegia.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for quadriplegia


  1. pathol paralysis of all four limbs, usually as the result of injury to the spineAlso called: tetraplegia Compare hemiplegia, paraplegia

Word Origin for quadriplegia

C20: from quadri- + Greek plēgē a blow, from plēssein to strike
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

Word Origin and History for quadriplegia

1895, a medical hybrid coined from Latin-based quadri- "four" + -plegia, as in paraplegia, ultimately from Greek plege "stroke," from root of plessein "to strike" (see plague (n.)). A correct, all-Greek formation would be *tessaraplegia.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

quadriplegia in Medicine


  1. Paralysis of all four limbs.tetraplegia
Related formsquad′ri•plegic adj. n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

quadriplegia in Science


  1. Paralysis of the body from the neck down, caused by injury to the spinal cord.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.