noun \pə-ˈra-lə-səs\

medical : a condition in which you are unable to move or feel all or part of your body

: a state of being unable to function, act, or move

plural pa·ral·y·ses\-ˌsēz\

Full Definition of PARALYSIS

:  complete or partial loss of function especially when involving the motion or sensation in a part of the body
:  loss of the ability to move
:  a state of powerlessness or incapacity to act

Examples of PARALYSIS

  1. The disease causes a paralysis of the legs.
  2. The whole country is in a state of paralysis.
  3. They are trying to end the political paralysis that has been gripping the country.


Latin, from Greek, from paralyein to loosen, disable, from para- + lyein to loosen — more at lose
First Known Use: 1525

Other Medicine Terms

analgesia, angina, diabetes, hepatitis, homeopathy, logorrhea, palliate, pandemic

Rhymes with PARALYSIS


noun \pə-ˈral-ə-səs\   (Medical Dictionary)
plural pa·ral·y·ses \-ˌsēz\

Medical Definition of PARALYSIS

: complete or partial loss of function especially when involving the power of motion or of sensation in any part of the body—see hemiplegia, paraplegia, paresis 1


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Loss or impairment of voluntary use of one or more muscles. It may be flaccid (with loss of muscle tone) or spastic (stiff). Hemiplegia (one-sided paralysis) is usually caused by stroke or brain tumour on the opposite side. Diplegia (two-sided paralysis, as in cerebral palsy) results from generalized brain disease. Spinal-cord damage (from bone or joint disease, fracture, or tumour affecting the vertebrae; inflammatory and degenerative diseases; or pernicious anemia) paralyzes the body at and below the level of the damage (paraplegia if the legs and lower body only; quadriplegia if arms and legs). Poliomyelitis and polyneuritis (neuritis of multiple nerves) result in paralysis with muscle wasting. Bell palsy (a type of neuritis) paralyzes the muscles of one side of the face. Muscular dystrophy causes paralysis by attacking muscle. Metabolic causes include myasthenia gravis. Paralysis may also have psychiatric causes (see hysteria).

Variants of PARALYSIS

paralysis or palsy


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