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1804, from French paralyser (16c.), from Old French paralisie "paralysis," from Latin paralysis (see paralysis). Figurative use from 1805. Related: Paralyzed; paralyzing.
paralyze par·a·lyze (pār'ə-līz')v. par·a·lyzed, par·a·lyz·ing, par·a·lyz·es To affect with paralysis; cause to be paralytic.