palsy

noun
pal·​sy | \ ˈpȯl-zē How to pronounce palsy (audio) \
plural palsies

Definition of palsy

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : paralysis used chiefly in combination oculomotor palsy — see bell's palsy, cerebral palsy
2 : a condition that is marked by uncontrollable tremor and quivering of the body or one or more of its parts not used technically … an involuntary shake that was to prove the prelude to age's palsy.— Angus Wilson

palsy

verb
palsied; palsying

Definition of palsy (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

: to affect with or as if with palsy

palsy

adjective
\ ˈpal-zē How to pronounce palsy (audio) \

Definition of palsy (Entry 3 of 3)

Examples of palsy in a Sentence

Noun palsy can sometimes be caused by a brain injury Adjective the salesman changed his palsy attitude when he realized that I wasn't buying
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Cerebral palsy is caused by abnormal development of the brain and affects a person’s ability to move and maintain balance, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Omar Abdel-baqui, WSJ, 1 Mar. 2022 Bell’s palsy is fairly common, striking about 40,000 people a year in the United States. Washington Post, 1 Oct. 2021 Trying to enhance the vaccine with an extra ingredient, called an adjuvant, inflamed the nasal mucosa and led to Bell’s palsy in some people. Apoorva Mandavilli, New York Times, 2 Feb. 2022 Cerebral palsy was long considered a children’s condition. Jeremy Klemin, The New Republic, 3 Jan. 2022 While the vaccines were found to result in an increase of neurological complications, like Bell’s palsy and Guillain-Barré syndrome, the study found that contracting Covid presented an even bigger risk. BostonGlobe.com, 25 Oct. 2021 Back pain, Bell’s palsy or insomnia may go away during a course of acupuncture treatment, but these problems might also have healed or disappeared without acupuncture — or medication or surgery. Washington Post, 4 Oct. 2021 However, Tam has not developed Bell’s palsy or any other adverse vaccine side effects. Devon Link, USA TODAY, 28 Sep. 2021 We were struck with Bell’s palsy, a type of facial paralysis that occurs when the nerves controlling the muscles on one side of the face are damaged or even destroyed. Washington Post, 1 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Things Became Difficult’ A doctor can usually diagnose Bell’s palsy just by looking at a person, but may decide to do a blood test, MRI, or CT scan to rule out other causes of facial paralysis, like diabetes or tumors. Sarah Klein, PEOPLE.com, 26 July 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Jerome Darwin Bird, a retired television and video producer who had been education director for the Pride of Baltimore II, died of progressive supranuclear palsy Dec. 21 at Edenwald Senior Living in Towson. Jacques Kelly, baltimoresun.com, 31 Dec. 2021 First, award-winning children’s book illustrator Melissa Sweet crafted homemade lobster rolls the size of my arms in her palsy-walsy Maine home. Kwame Alexander, Bon Appétit, 25 May 2021 Miller battled progressive supranuclear palsy and died surrounded by immediate family on March 1. Susan Du, Star Tribune, 5 Apr. 2021 Fact-checking group PolitiFact has said that the Bell’s palsy story has been exaggerated and distorted by social media users. Washington Post, 24 Dec. 2020 While the original news article was accurate, fact-checking group PolitiFact has said that the Bell’s palsy story has become exaggerated and distorted. Rachel Lerman, Anchorage Daily News, 18 Dec. 2020 In this very chummy palsy-walsy letter to Kim Jong-un. Fox News, 25 May 2018 Steuart Gantt Wilson, a former secretary and community volunteer who was a devoted Orioles fan, died of progressive nuclear palsy Oct, 18 at her Timonium home. Jacques Kelly, baltimoresun.com, 23 Oct. 2017 Bell’s palsy indicates facial weakness, usually only on one side of the face due to damage or dysfunction of the facial nerve, one of the cranial nerves of the body. Meredith Cohn, baltimoresun.com, 23 Aug. 2017 See More

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

First Known Use of palsy

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1615, in the meaning defined above

Adjective

1951, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for palsy

Noun

Middle English palesie, alteration of parlesey, from Anglo-French paralisie, from Latin paralysis

Learn More About palsy

Time Traveler for palsy

Time Traveler

The first known use of palsy was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near palsy

palster

palsy

palsy-walsy

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for palsy

Last Updated

19 Mar 2022

Cite this Entry

“Palsy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/palsy. Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for palsy

palsy

noun
pal·​sy | \ ˈpȯl-zē How to pronounce palsy (audio) \

Kids Definition of palsy

1 : paralysis
2 : an uncontrollable trembling of the body or a part of the body

palsy

noun
pal·​sy | \ ˈpȯl-zē How to pronounce palsy (audio) \
plural palsies

Medical Definition of palsy

1 : paralysis used chiefly in combination oculomotor palsy — see bell's palsy, cerebral palsy
2 : a condition that is characterized by uncontrollable tremor or quivering of the body or one or more of its parts not used technically

More from Merriam-Webster on palsy

Nglish: Translation of palsy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of palsy for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about palsy

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