Paralysis is the inability to move part of your body. It's actually fairly common for people to have short periods of paralysis while they sleep.

Paralysis is the experience of being paralyzed, or unable to move part or all of your body. There are medical conditions that can cause paralysis. You can also use paralysis to describe the inability to act, like the paralysis of a city during a big snowstorm, or the paralysis of the school play's star, suddenly struck with stage fright.

Definitions of paralysis
  1. noun
    loss of the ability to move a body part
    synonyms: palsy
    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
Word Family

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week