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[par-uh-lahyz] /ˈpær əˌlaɪz/
verb (used with object), paralyzed, paralyzing.
to affect with paralysis.
to bring to a condition of helpless stoppage, inactivity, or inability to act:
The strike paralyzed communications.
Also, especially British, paralyse.
Origin of paralyze
1795-1805; back formation from paralysis, modeled on analyze
Related forms
paralyzant, adjective, noun
paralyzation, noun
paralyzer, noun
paralyzingly, adverb
semiparalyzed, adjective
unparalyzed, adjective
2. See shock1 . Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for paralyze
  • Issues that seem intractable not only dominate our news but paralyze our governments.
  • These are the kinds of fears that paralyze us and keep organizations from evolving and improving.
  • The danger in doing this is that if you mistakenly target machines that are not infected you could paralyze your network.
  • Industry pushback has appeared to paralyze the agency.
  • Even one major bridge collapse would paralyze the city, and engineers predict dozens.
  • But if you're not careful, it can also paralyze you.
  • At the same time, fear and other emotions don't have to paralyze people in their daily lives.
  • Jellyfish have tiny stinging cells in their tentacles to stun or paralyze their prey before they eat them.
  • The incredibly toxic venom of the geographic cone snail has to be strong enough to paralyze instantly.
  • Jellyfish have stingers on their tentacles, which paralyze fish swimming nearby.
British Dictionary definitions for paralyze


verb (transitive)
(pathol) to affect with paralysis
(med) to render (a part of the body) insensitive to pain, touch, etc, esp by injection of an anaesthetic
to make immobile; transfix
Derived Forms
paralysation, (US) paralyzation, noun
paralyser, (US) paralyzer, noun
Word Origin
C19: from French paralyser, from paralysieparalysis
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for paralyze

1804, from French paralyser (16c.), from Old French paralisie "paralysis," from Latin paralysis (see paralysis). Figurative use from 1805. Related: Paralyzed; paralyzing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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paralyze in Medicine

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.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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