Definition of paralysis in English:



mass noun
  • 1The loss of the ability to move (and sometimes to feel anything) in part or most of the body, typically as a result of illness, poison, or injury.

    ‘the fast-acting venom causes paralysis, breathing difficulties, and sometimes death’
    in singular ‘a creeping paralysis accompanied by nausea and vomiting’
    • ‘If the cancer has spread to the brain, it can cause seizures, paralysis, personality changes and speech difficulty.’
    • ‘Specialist equipment such as splints, callipers and braces can help with paralysis and contractures.’
    • ‘The paralysis or palsy may affect mainly the legs, or all four limbs, or just one side of the body.’
    • ‘The effect of facial paralysis with loss of muscle and skin tone in the elderly patient leads to laxity or ectropion of the lower lid.’
    • ‘Traditional stroke symptoms were defined as loss of balance and paralysis of at least one part of the body.’
    immobility, powerlessness, lack of sensation, numbness, deadness, incapacity, debilitation
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    1. 1.1 Inability to act or function properly.
      ‘the paralysis gripping the country’
      • ‘It is the media-programmed subconscious mind that poisons people into apathetic paralysis.’
      • ‘Downing Street, if not quite yet gripped by paralysis, is at least on edge waiting for malevolent treachery to strike again.’
      • ‘I can only suggest that the paralysis that has gripped this country in recent years is causing us huge angst.’
      • ‘Finally he yanked himself out of the paralysis that gripped him and pulled the blinds tightly shut.’
      • ‘It is owing to these oil workers that the paralysis of the oil industry is not complete.’
      shutdown, immobilization, stoppage, halt, standstill, stopping
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Late Old English, via Latin from Greek paralusis, from paraluesthai ‘be disabled at the side’, from para ‘beside’ + luein ‘loosen’.