Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

paralyze

play
verb par·a·lyze \ˈper-ə-ˌlīz, ˈpa-rə-\

Simple Definition of paralyze

  • : to make (a person or animal) unable to move or feel all or part of the body

  • : to make (someone or something) unable to function, act, or move

Full Definition of paralyze

par·a·lyzedpar·a·lyz·ing

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to affect with paralysis

  3. 2 :  to make powerless or ineffective

  4. 3 :  unnerve

  5. 4 :  stun, stupefy

  6. 5 :  to bring to an end :  prevent, destroy

par·a·ly·za·tion play \ˌper-ə-lə-ˈzā-shən, ˌpa-rə-\ noun
par·a·lyz·er play \ˈper-ə-ˌlī-zər, ˈpa-rə-\ noun
par·a·lyz·ing·ly play \-ˌlī-ziŋ-lē\ adverb

Examples of paralyze

  1. The snake's venom paralyzed the mouse.

  2. The air strikes have paralyzed the city's transportation system.

  3. The company was paralyzed by debt.



Origin of paralyze

French paralyser, back-formation from paralysie paralysis, from Latin paralysis


First Known Use: 1804


Medical Dictionary

paralyze

transitive verb par·a·lyze

Medical Definition of paralyze

par·a·lyzed or British par·a·lysedpar·a·lyz·ing or British par·a·lys·ing

  1. :  to affect with paralysis

  2. par·a·ly·za·tion or British par·a·ly·sa·tion \ˌpar-ə-lə-ˈzā-shən\play noun



Variants of paralyze

or British par·a·lyse \ˈpar-ə-ˌlīz\play


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up paralyze? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 6, 2016

an official order, decree, or edict

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

spindrift kittly-benders duvet pince-nez
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ