Definition of "paralysis" [pa•ral•y•sis]

  • Loss or impairment of the ability to move a body part, usually as a result of damage to its nerve supply. (noun)
  • Loss of sensation over a region of the body. (noun)
  • Inability to move or function; total stoppage or severe impairment of activity: fear that led to national paralysis. (noun)
  • Impairment or loss of voluntary muscle function or of sensation (sensory paralysis) in a part or area of the body, usually caused by a lesion or disorder of the muscles or the nerves supplying them (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

  • A disease characterized by such impairment or loss; palsy (noun)
  • Cessation or impairment of activity (noun)

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Use "paralysis" in a sentence
  • "_ -- In complete unilateral _facial paralysis_ (Bell's paralysis) the affected side of the face is expressionless and devoid of voluntary or emotional movement."
  • "The term paralysis has generally been used to express the loss of voluntary motion, as in the hemiplagia, but may with equal propriety be applied to express the disobediency of the muscular fibres to the other kinds of stimulus; as to those of irritation or sensation."
  • "I mean, the paralysis is the fact that they don't have a government, therefore no legislation is going forward in the parliament."