paralyze

verb
par·​a·​lyze | \ ˈper-ə-ˌlīz How to pronounce paralyze (audio) , ˈpa-rə-\
paralyzed; paralyzing

Definition of paralyze

transitive verb

1 : to affect with paralysis The snake's venom paralyzed the mouse.
2 : to make powerless or ineffective A strike would paralyze the industry.
3 : unnerve the parlyzing thing is the uncertainty— Evelyn Whitehead
4 : stun, stupefy I would paralyze the empire with the news!— Rudyard Kipling
5 : to bring to an end : prevent, destroy deadlock paralyzed action— F. A. Ogg & Harold Zink

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Other Words from paralyze

paralyzation \ ˌper-​ə-​lə-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce paralyzation (audio) , ˌpa-​rə-​ \ noun
paralyzer \ ˈper-​ə-​ˌlī-​zər How to pronounce paralyzer (audio) , ˈpa-​rə-​ \ noun
paralyzingly \ ˈper-​ə-​ˌlī-​ziŋ-​lē How to pronounce paralyzingly (audio) , ˈpa-​rə \ adverb

Examples of paralyze in a Sentence

The snake's venom paralyzed the mouse. The air strikes have paralyzed the city's transportation system. The company was paralyzed by debt.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Many executives would be paralyzed by the pressure to maintain the status quo or be tempted to downplay the obvious shortcomings of this group. Ben Golliver, The Denver Post, "Winners and losers from the Kawhi Leonard-Paul George bombshell," 6 July 2019 For five days in 2013, traffic jams paralyzed the borough of Fort Lee, N.J., which sits at the foot of the George Washington Bridge, due to closed highway lanes leading onto the bridge. Corinne Ramey, WSJ, "Was ‘Bridgegate’ Criminal, or Just Dirty Politics?," 29 June 2019 Mullen was paralyzed on his left side, suffered third-degree burns, had a nine-inch crack in his skill, and needed to relearn how to walk. Matthew Van Meter, The New Republic, "The Judge and the Three-Strikes Convict," 17 June 2019 On Sunday, large cities were paralyzed as shops closed and publication transportation ground to a halt. NBC News, "Argentina, Uruguay work to restore power after major blackout," 16 June 2019 Castro survives but is paralyzed, although his spirit is able to leave his body. Mary Ann Grossmann, Twin Cities, "A tale of love illustrated with lowercase letters is among this week’s new books," 16 June 2019 Griffin is paralyzed from the neck down and breathes with the aid of a respirator, which was audible during Wednesday's hearing, after being shot by Duwad Spaulding in 2011. Eric Heisig, cleveland.com, "Quadriplegic Akron man sentenced to 17 years for orchestrating drug deals from bed," 11 June 2019 Her father, a truck driver, was paralyzed in a traffic accident, and his condition took priority over her development as a player. Joe Juliano, https://www.inquirer.com, "She’s a little bit tired after winning the U.S. Women’s Open, but Jeongeun Lee6 is ready for ShopRite," 5 June 2019 Chaplin was paralyzed when his spinal cord was severed by one of the officer’s bullets. Mike Carter, The Seattle Times, "Brothers’ lawsuit against Olympia police officer who shot them can move forward, judge rules," 12 Feb. 2019

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

1763, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for paralyze

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

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Statistics for paralyze

Last Updated

11 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for paralyze

The first known use of paralyze was in 1763

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More Definitions for paralyze

paralyze

verb

English Language Learners 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

paralyze

verb
par·​a·​lyze | \ ˈper-ə-ˌlīz How to pronounce paralyze (audio) \
paralyzed; paralyzing

Kids Definition of paralyze

1 : to cause to be unable to move all or part of the body The snake's venom paralyzed the mouse.
2 : to destroy or decrease something's energy or ability to act The city was paralyzed by a heavy snowstorm.

paralyze

transitive verb
par·​a·​lyze
variants: or British paralyse \ ˈpar-​ə-​ˌlīz How to pronounce paralyse (audio) \
paralyzed or British paralysed; paralyzing or British paralysing

Medical Definition of paralyze

: to affect with paralysis

Other Words from paralyze

paralyzation or British paralysation \ ˌpar-​ə-​lə-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce paralysation (audio) \ noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on paralyze

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for paralyze

Spanish Central: Translation of paralyze

Nglish: Translation of paralyze for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of paralyze for Arabic Speakers

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