One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
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’
immobility, powerlessness, lack of sensation, numbness, deadness, incapacity, debilitationView synonyms
- ‘If the cancer has spread to the brain, it can cause seizures, paralysis, personality changes and speech difficulty.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘Specialist equipment such as splints, callipers and braces can help with paralysis and contractures.’
- 1.1 Inability to act or function properly.‘the paralysis gripping the country’
shutdown, immobilization, stoppage, halt, standstill, stoppingView synonyms
- ‘I can only suggest that the paralysis that has gripped this country in recent years is causing us huge angst.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
Late Old English, via Latin from Greek paralusis, from paraluesthai ‘be disabled at the side’, from para ‘beside’ + luein ‘loosen’.
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