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 paralyze (audio) , ˌpa-​rə-​ \ noun
paralyzer \ ˈper-​ə-​ˌlī-​zər How to pronounce paralyze (audio) , ˈpa-​rə-​ \ noun
paralyzingly \ ˈper-​ə-​ˌlī-​ziŋ-​lē How to pronounce paralyze (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 Yet research shows excessive self-criticism can paralyze rather than motivate and create greater problems, including procrastination, avoidance behaviors and even depression. Michael Higgins, Forbes, "Self-Compassion At Work: Does It Lead To Success?," 27 Apr. 2021 Human rights activists say such a move would paralyze their activities and expose their members and donors to prison sentences of up to 10 years. BostonGlobe.com, "Imprisoned Putin foe Navalny to end his hunger strike," 23 Apr. 2021 Human rights activists say such a move would paralyze their activities and expose their members and donors to prison sentences of up to 10 years. Daria Litvinova, chicagotribune.com, "Imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny feels ‘pride and hope’ for mass protests, doctors urge him to end hunger strike," 22 Apr. 2021 Human rights activists say such a move would paralyze their activities and expose their members and donors to prison sentences of up to 10 years. BostonGlobe.com, "Imprisoned Putin foe Navalny to end his hunger strike," 23 Apr. 2021 Human rights activists say such a move would paralyze their activities and expose their members and donors to prison sentences of up to 10 years. Daria Litvinova, chicagotribune.com, "Imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny feels ‘pride and hope’ for mass protests, doctors urge him to end hunger strike," 22 Apr. 2021 Human rights activists say such a move would paralyze the activities of the groups and expose their members and donors to prison sentences of up to 10 years. Jim Heintz, Anchorage Daily News, "Over 400 reported arrested across Russia amid rallies of support for Navalny," 21 Apr. 2021 Human rights activists say such a move would paralyze their activities and expose their members and donors to prison sentences of up to 10 years. Arkansas Online, "Navalny's doctors prevented from seeing him at prison clinic," 20 Apr. 2021 In January, police arrested those who stood in the primaries and its organizers, accusing them of plotting to paralyze the Hong Kong government through the city’s legislature. Natasha Khan, WSJ, "Dozens in Hong Kong’s Opposition Charged Under Law Imposed by Beijing," 28 Feb. 2021

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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Time Traveler for paralyze

Time Traveler

The first known use of paralyze was in 1763

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Statistics for paralyze

Last Updated

8 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Paralyze.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/paralyze. Accessed 12 May. 2021.

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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 paralyze (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 paralyze (audio) \ noun

Comments on paralyze

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