paralysis

noun
pa·ral·y·sis | \pə-ˈra-lə-səs \
plural paralyses\pə-ˈra-lə-ˌsēz \

Definition of paralysis 

1 : complete or partial loss of function especially when involving the motion or sensation in a part of the body

2 : loss of the ability to move

3 : a state of powerlessness or incapacity to act

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Synonyms for paralysis

Synonyms

palsy

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Examples of paralysis in a Sentence

The disease causes a paralysis of the legs. The whole country is in a state of paralysis. They are trying to end the political paralysis that has been gripping the country.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The paralysis usually starts at the lower extremities and then moves upward. Natalie Dreier, ajc, "Tick bite causes girl to become temporarily paralyzed," 8 June 2018 But the vote at the end of an emergency meeting called by Russia also demonstrated again the paralysis of the UN’s most powerful body in dealing with Syria’s seven-year conflict. BostonGlobe.com, "UN rejects Russian attempt to condemn Syria airstrikes," 15 Apr. 2018 Related The paralysis caused by ALS puts people at risk of choking, pneumonia and digestive blockages, as well as other infections. NBC News, "Stephen Hawking had ALS for 55 years. How did he do it?," 15 Mar. 2018 The Florida Panthers’ third-round pick in last week’s draft chose to chase hockey, even after a broken neck in November 2015 nearly resulted in paralysis from the neck down and a delayed healing process made him question his commitment to the sport. Matthew Defranks, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Nearly paralyzed by broken neck, Panthers' draft pick Logan Hutsko chases dream of NHL," 28 June 2018 He is described as a 5-foot-7-inch, roughly 210-pound black man with dark hair, brown eyes and slight paralysis on the right side of his face. City News Service, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Police on lookout for missing man with dementia," 26 June 2018 Tick paralysis is caused by female ticks on the verge of laying eggs. Cleve R. Wootson Jr., chicagotribune.com, "Young Mississippi girl's sudden paralysis caused by a tick on her scalp," 12 June 2018 Tick paralysis is caused by female ticks on the verge of laying eggs. The Washington Post, OregonLive.com, "A 5-year-old girl's sudden paralysis was a mystery. Then her mother checked her scalp.," 11 June 2018 Tick paralysis is caused by female ticks on the verge of laying eggs. Cleve R. Wootson Jr., Washington Post, "A 5-year-old girl’s sudden paralysis was a mystery. Then her mother checked her scalp.," 11 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'paralysis.' 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 paralysis

1525, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for paralysis

Latin, from Greek, from paralyein to loosen, disable, from para- + lyein to loosen — more at lose

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Statistics for paralysis

Last Updated

13 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for paralysis

The first known use of paralysis was in 1525

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More Definitions for paralysis

paralysis

noun

English Language Learners Definition of paralysis

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

paralysis

noun
pa·ral·y·sis | \pə-ˈra-lə-səs \
plural paralyses\-ˌsēz \

Kids Definition of paralysis

: loss of the ability to move all or part of the body (as from disease or injury)

paralysis

noun
pa·ral·y·sis | \pə-ˈral-ə-səs \
plural paralyses\-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 sense 1

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Comments on paralysis

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