Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Loss or impairment of the ability to move a body part, usually as a result of damage to its nerve supply.
  • n. Loss of sensation over a region of the body.
  • n. Inability to move or function; total stoppage or severe impairment of activity: fear that led to national paralysis.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The complete loss of voluntary control of part of person's body, such as one or more limbs.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Abolition of function, whether complete or partial; esp., the loss of the power of voluntary motion, with or without that of sensation, in any part of the body; palsy. See hemiplegia, and paraplegia. Also used figuratively.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The impairment of the normal capacity of the nervous system for bringing into action one or more active organs, muscular or glandular, or for receiving impressions along one or more sensory paths.
  • n. Figuratively, loss of energy; loss of the power of performing regular functions; the state of being crippled, as in an emergency, or helpless amid any circumstances.
  • n. Paralysis due to an encephalic lesion.
  • n. Muscular pseudohypertrophy.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. loss of the ability to move a body part

Etymologies

Latin, from Greek paralusis, from paralūein, to disable, loosen : para-, on one side; see para-1 + lūein, to release; see leu- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin paralysis, from Ancient Greek παράλυσις (paralusis, "palsy"), from παραλύειν (paraluein, "to disable on one side"), from παρά (para, "beside") + λύειν (luein, "loosen"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • Online Dictionary. The strike caused a paralysis of all shipping.

    October 7, 2010