Definition of paralysis in English:



  • 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.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The paralysis or palsy may affect mainly the legs, or all four limbs, or just one side of the body.’
    • ‘If the cancer has spread to the brain, it can cause seizures, paralysis, personality changes and speech difficulty.’
    • ‘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.’
    immobility, powerlessness, lack of sensation, numbness, deadness, incapacity, debilitation
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    1. 1.1Inability to act or function in a person, organization, or place.
      ‘the paralysis gripping the country’
      • ‘I can only suggest that the paralysis that has gripped this country in recent years is causing us huge angst.’
      • ‘It is owing to these oil workers that the paralysis of the oil industry is not complete.’
      • ‘Finally he yanked himself out of the paralysis that gripped him and pulled the blinds tightly shut.’
      • ‘Downing Street, if not quite yet gripped by paralysis, is at least on edge waiting for malevolent treachery to strike again.’
      • ‘It is the media-programmed subconscious mind that poisons people into apathetic paralysis.’
      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.