If you're paralyzed, you can describe your condition as palsy. Your grandfather's palsy might confine him to a wheelchair.

The noun palsy can be used to talk about an inability to move, or alternately, an uncontrollable shaking that's caused by some condition or disease. Some kinds of palsy affect one side of a person's face, leaving half of it paralyzed. The Greek origin of palsy is paralysis, which literally means "loosen," from the word paralyein, and its roots para, "beside," and lyein, "loosen or untie."

Definitions of palsy
  1. noun
    loss of the ability to move a body part
    synonyms: paralysis
    see moresee less
    show 12 types...
    hide 12 types...
    akinesia, akinesis
    motionlessness attributable to a temporary paralysis
    paralysis of the vocal cords resulting in an inability to speak
    cystoparalysis, cystoplegia
    paralysis of the urinary bladder
    paralysis of corresponding parts on both sides of the body
    Erb's palsy, Erb-Duchenne paralysis
    paralysis of the arm resulting from injury to the brachial plexus (usually during childbirth)
    paralysis of a single limb
    paralysis of the motor nerves of the eye
    a slight or partial paralysis
    paralysis of the lower half of the body (most often as a result of trauma)
    hemiplegia, unilateral paralysis
    paralysis of one side of the body
    paralysis of both arms and both legs
    a slight paralysis or weakness of both legs
    type of:
    disfunction, dysfunction
    (medicine) any disturbance in the functioning of an organ or body part or a disturbance in the functioning of a social group
  2. noun
    a condition marked by uncontrollable tremor
    see moresee less
    type of:
    (medicine) any sensation or change in bodily function that is experienced by a patient and is associated with a particular disease
  3. verb
    affect with palsy
    see moresee less
    type of:
    paralyse, paralyze
    cause to be paralyzed and immobile
Word Family
F1 image

Express yourself in 25 languages

  • Learn immersively - no memorization required
  • Build skills for real-world conversations
  • Get immediate feedback on your pronunciation
Get started for $7.99/month