hemi·​ple·​gia | \ ˌhe-mi-ˈplē-j(ē-)ə How to pronounce hemiplegia (audio) \

Definition of hemiplegia

: total or partial paralysis of one side of the body that results from disease of or injury to the motor centers of the brain

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Other Words from hemiplegia

hemiplegic \ ˌhe-​mi-​ˈplē-​jik How to pronounce hemiplegia (audio) \ adjective or noun

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Hemi-, unlike semi, almost always appears in scientific or technical words, including medical terms such as this one. A hemiplegic, like a paraplegic (who has lost the use of both legs), has usually suffered brain damage, often from a wound or blood clot. Other conditions that affect one side of the body are hemihypertrophy (excessive growth on one side), hemiatrophy (wasting on one side), and hemiparesis (weakness or partial paralysis).

Examples of hemiplegia in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Spastic hemiplegia generally affects a hand, arm, or leg on only one side of the body. Lauren Sieben, SELF, 22 Mar. 2022 His conditions — alternating hemiplegia of childhood and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome — involve paralysis and severe epilepsy. Molly Duerig, azcentral, 14 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hemiplegia.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of hemiplegia

1600, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for hemiplegia

New Latin, from Middle Greek hēmiplēgia paralysis, from Greek hēmi- + -plēgia -plegia

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The first known use of hemiplegia was in 1600

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Cite this Entry

“Hemiplegia.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hemiplegia. Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for hemiplegia


hemi·​ple·​gia | \ ˌhem-i-ˈplē-j(ē-)ə How to pronounce hemiplegia (audio) \

Medical Definition of hemiplegia

: total or partial paralysis of one side of the body that results from disease of or injury to the motor centers of the brain

More from Merriam-Webster on hemiplegia

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hemiplegia

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about hemiplegia


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