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 paralyzing 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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web Tennessee uses a three-drug series to put inmates to death: midazolam, a sedative to render the inmate unconscious; vecuronium bromide, to paralyze the inmate; and potassium chloride, to stop the heart. NBC News, 2 May 2022 Experts have warned that any disruption to Taiwan's chip supply could paralyze production of key equipment, impacting almost everyone in the world. Eric Cheung, CNN, 6 Apr. 2022 Today, 76% of Ukraine’s children are considered fully vaccinated against polio, but that still leaves nearly 1 in 4 vulnerable to a disease that can paralyze children and cause death or lifelong disability. Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times, 26 Mar. 2022 But that fix could paralyze the software in urban environments, where pedestrians are everywhere. Washington Post, 10 Feb. 2022 Tennessee uses a three-drug series to put inmates to death: midazolam, a sedative to render the inmate unconscious; vecuronium bromide, to paralyze the inmate; and potassium chloride, to stop the heart. CBS News, 22 Apr. 2022 Tennessee uses a three-drug series to put inmates to death: midazolam, a sedative to render the inmate unconscious; vecuronium bromide, to paralyze the inmate; and potassium chloride, to stop the heart. NBC News, 22 Apr. 2022 The mayor of Canada's capital declared a state of emergency Sunday as protesters opposed to covid-19 restrictions continued to paralyze Ottawa's downtown area. Compiled Democrat-gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, 7 Feb. 2022 Military analysts had expected Russian forces to quickly destroy or paralyze Ukraine’s air defenses and military aircraft, yet neither has happened. New York Times, 22 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near paralyze

paralytic

paralyze

paralyzed

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Statistics for paralyze

Last Updated

20 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Paralyze.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/paralyze. Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for paralyze

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

More from Merriam-Webster on paralyze

Nglish: Translation of paralyze for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of paralyze for Arabic Speakers

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