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 When massive demonstrations against racial injustice erupted across the nation last summer, protesters used an increasingly common tactic to draw attention to their cause: swarming out onto major roads to temporarily paralyze traffic. Sean Murphy, chicagotribune.com, "Republican politicians across the US propose legislation that would protect drivers who hit protestors," 20 Feb. 2021 Authorities allege the primary was part of a plot to take control of the legislature in order to paralyze government and force the city's leader to resign. Fox News, "US joined by Australia, UK and Canada in criticizing Hong Kong mass arrests," 10 Jan. 2021 Such a delay could paralyze FCC rule making, policy analysts at New Street Research wrote this month, and jeopardize bipartisan agenda items such as freeing up spectrum for wireless networks. Christopher Mims, WSJ, "Joe Biden’s 5 Tech Priorities," 19 Dec. 2020 With the coronavirus skyrocketing, the HB6 scandal continuing to paralyze a lot of legislators and Ohio politics in flux, why are lawmakers focused on a new law to let people train owls for hunting? Laura Johnston, cleveland, "Gov. Mike DeWine takes big steps to stop coronavirus: This Week in the CLE," 12 Nov. 2020 Did the praise help you with the next project, or paralyze you? Françoise Mouly, The New Yorker, "Adrian Tomine’s “Love Life”," 30 Nov. 2020 Working out all those implications could paralyze the payment system, leaving providers unpaid indefinitely. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, "Column: The Supreme Court Obamacare case centers on technicalities, but much more is at stake," 10 Nov. 2020 The polio virus could paralyze children and caused panic every summer, leading to the closing of camps and pools. Robin Marantz Henig, National Geographic, "To end this pandemic, we must trust science," 13 Oct. 2020 The laced weapons can easily paralyze or kill an animal. Corryn Wetzel, Smithsonian Magazine, "14 Fun Facts About Frightening Animals," 30 Oct. 2020

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

25 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Paralyze.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/paralyze. Accessed 27 Feb. 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

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Comments on paralyze

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