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 Rudd's resignation is the latest sign that Johnson's uncompromising approach to Brexit, an issue that has obsessed the country and paralyzed its politics, could break his party and threaten his tenuous hold on power. NBC News, "U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson under fire as Brexit reality hits," 8 Sep. 2019 Perhaps most famously was an attack in 1998 by five white men who broke a black Marine’s neck and left him paralyzed during a drunken, racist attack at a party. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Santee looking to shake stereotypes with new branding effort," 20 Aug. 2019 If Jaime never paralyzed the boy, most of the Starks would probably still be alive. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 1: Everything You Need to Know," 15 Apr. 2019 Making eye contact with other riders and pedestrians, each of us using the other’s feedback to negotiate those individual interactions, solved encounters that previously would have paralyzed me. Dan Kois, The New Yorker, "How I Learned to Cycle Like a Dutchman," 13 Sep. 2019 The fall partially paralyzed him on the right side of his body. Sharon Coolidge, Cincinnati.com, "'My cancer has spread.' Todd Portune announces retirement after quarter-century in local politics," 12 Sep. 2019 My anxiety and fear of getting it wrong would practically paralyze me for entire three-hour workshops. Alyson Pomerantz, Longreads, "Anaphylaxis of the Mind," 3 Sep. 2019 Although his injuries are debilitating, painful and life-altering, Ortiz is fortunate that the bullet didn’t kill or paralyze him. Michael Mccann, SI.com, "Arrests Shed New Light on David Ortiz Shooting as Search for Answers Continues," 18 June 2019 Hinckley’s first shot hit White House press secretary James Brady in the head, partially paralyzing him. Deb Kiner | Dkiner@pennlive.com, nola.com, "Ronald Reagan was shot on this day in 1981; see the photos," 30 Mar. 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

31 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for paralyze

The first known use of paralyze was in 1763

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More Definitions for paralyze

paralyze

verb
How to pronounce paralyze (audio)

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.
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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