from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Slight or partial paralysis.
  • noun General paresis.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun An incomplete degree of paralysis.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Med.) Incomplete paralysis, affecting motion but not sensation.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A paralysis which is incomplete or which occurs in isolated areas.
  • noun Inflammation of the brain as a cause of dementia or paralysis.

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

  • noun a slight or partial paralysis


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

[Greek, act of letting go, paralysis, from parīenai, to let fall : para-, beside; see para– + hīenai, to throw; see yē- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Modern Latin, from Ancient Greek πάρεσις (paresis, "letting go, paralysis"), from παριέναι (parienai, "relax"), from παρα- (para-) + ἰέναι (ienai, "let go").


  • In this case the patient dies for want of nourishment; either in three or four weeks, of the inirritative fever; or without quick pulse, by what we have called paresis irritativa.

    Zoonomia, Vol. II Or, the Laws of Organic Life

  • In November 1939, suffering from the general deterioration of paresis (a late stage of syphilis), he was released and entered a Baltimore hospital.

    Five People Born on January 17 | myFiveBest

  • Actually, he tried tuberculin first, but tuberculosis, while perhaps preferable to general paresis, is still a pretty devastating disease.


  • Medical professionals will tell you that both types of diabetes are serious because they can cause the same debilitating and life-threatening diabetic complications, including heart attack, stroke, nerve damage, kidney failure, blindness, amputation, gastro-paresis, and sexual dysfunction.

    Riva Greenberg: The Type 1 Versus Type 2 Diabetes War

  • Her father, an engineer, died of paresis (syphilitic insanity) when Hannah was seven, and episodic battles between Russian and German armies were fought near their home soon thereafter.

    Hannah Arendt.

  • In 1931 there were no medications to treat mental illness (lobotomies came into vogue in 1935, for example) and psychiatry was divided between those doctors treating state hospital patients (many of whom had paresis or were schizophrenic/bipolar) who were considered “organic” and those who were more psychoanalytic, mostly in big cities.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Jerome Frank on Oliver Wendell Holmes:

  • I can cause a shaking that is called 'paralytic dementia', but used to be called 'general paresis of the insane'.

    Treponema pallidum

  • I can cause a shaking that is called 'paralytic dementia', but used to be called 'general paresis of the insane'.

    Archive 2007-05-01

  • Among these clearly would be Alzheimer's and other dementias, the general paresis caused by syphilis, and various other conditions known to have clear organic etiologies.

    Is prejudice a mental illness?

  • Less severe forms may befall the swain who keeps his arm on his date's chair back for an entire double feature, ignoring the growing pain and paresis.

    Archive 2005-03-01


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  • And yet I feel that during three weeks of general paresis (if that is what it was) I have gained some experience; that when my night really comes I shall not be totally unprepared.

    --Vladimir Nabokov, 1974, Look at the Harlequins! p. 239

    June 13, 2009