Definition of paralytic in English:



  • 1Relating to paralysis.

    ‘the incidence of paralytic disease’
    • ‘The mutations make it more transmissible and possibly more likely to cause paralytic disease than ordinary live vaccine-derived strains, according to the Health Department.’
    • ‘Red tides, for example, can cause outbreaks of life-threatening diseases, such as paralytic shellfish poisoning, which can shut down mussel and clam harvesting for long periods of time.’
    • ‘The CDC website relates that there are two common types of rabies: ‘furious’ rabies and paralytic or ‘dumb’ rabies.’
    • ‘Some toxic marine species cause paralytic shellfish poisoning, particularly when forming red tides.’
    • ‘Tetanus is an acute, spastic paralytic illness caused by a toxin released from the bacterium Clostridium tetani.’
    paralysed, crippled, disabled, incapacitated, dead, numb, benumbed, powerless, immobilized
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  • 2British informal predicative Extremely drunk.

    ‘a leaving party which left everyone paralytic’
    • ‘Young people, many of them still at school stagger out of the pub, intoxicated, paralytic from drinking too much alcohol.’
    • ‘The judge told him, ‘You were paralytic drunk and punched a perfectly decent man in the face.’’
    • ‘Elizabeth was drunker than anybody that night - she was paralytic.’
    • ‘He said excessive drinking was often glorified through the media and we had to change the current mindset that it was ‘a great laugh’ to persistently get paralytic drunk.’
    • ‘I was almost paralytic by midnight when I was meant to be on stage at Sound On Sunday collecting my prize.’
    intoxicated, inebriated, drunken, befuddled, incapable, tipsy, the worse for drink, under the influence, maudlin
    drunk, intoxicated, inebriated, drunken, befuddled, incapable, tipsy, the worse for drink, under the influence, maudlin
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  • A person affected by paralysis.

    ‘I do not wish to live as a helpless paralytic’
    • ‘Soon people were coming to see Him from as far as Canada who were suffering from every kind of disease and disorder: mental illness, epileptics, paralytics, and Joshua healed them all.’
    • ‘Almost all the seniors in these places are over 70 years old with a very weak physical condition and many are paralytics.’
    • ‘I have illustrated this for my beginning New Testament students by comparing the story of the healing of the paralytic in the Gospels of Mark and Luke.’
    • ‘As the number and size of state hospitals increased, however, overcrowded wards housed chronic cases: long-term schizophrenics, the senile, paralytics, and epileptics.’
    • ‘The scribes, perhaps those who had earlier lost face and are by now smitten with envy, aggressively confront Jesus about his right to offer forgiveness to the paralytic.’


Late Middle English: from Old French paralytique, via Latin from Greek paralutikos ‘relating to paralysis’ (see paralysis).