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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
cerebral palsy
▪ Sam is 6 and has cerebral palsy.
▪ Craig, 21 months, suffers from cerebral palsy.
▪ She suffers from cerebral palsy and because she could not communicate, doctors at first believed she might be mentally retarded.
▪ He now has severe cerebral palsy, is unable to roll over, sit or crawl.
▪ Sheng has cerebral palsy and is unable to walk.
▪ One is a little girl crippled by cerebral palsy.
▪ One seven year-old boy, a cerebral palsy sufferer, was anxious to make a speech.
▪ Craig, 21 months, suffers from cerebral palsy.
▪ She suffers from cerebral palsy and because she could not communicate, doctors at first believed she might be mentally retarded.
▪ For the past decade, I have been the parent of a child who suffers from cerebral palsy.
▪ With a mental age of six months, they suffered cerebral palsy from birth and were both wheelchair-bound.
▪ Andrew was born with cerebral palsy, and suffers a form of blindness.
▪ Doctors thought she had a mild case of cerebral palsy.
▪ First comes a diagnosis of cerebral palsy, a label that seems right until other puzzling symptoms appear.
▪ It does have different characteristics from other more fixed medical conditions, such as cerebral palsy.
▪ She suffers from cerebral palsy and because she could not communicate, doctors at first believed she might be mentally retarded.
▪ The medical diagnosis was cerebral palsy.
▪ They surmised he had shoulder palsy or a complication from a long-hidden ailment contracted in the war.
▪ Tooth-ache, tragedy and top notes share a mask of facial palsy in this alliterative world.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Palsy \Pal"sy\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Palsied; p. pr. & vb. n. Palsying.] To affect with palsy, or as with palsy; to deprive of action or energy; to paralyze.


Palsy \Pal"sy\, n.; pl. Palsies. [OE. palesie, parlesy, OF. paralesie, F. paralysie, L. paralysis. See Paralysis.] (Med.) Paralysis, complete or partial. See Paralysis. ``One sick of the palsy.''
--Mark ii. 3.

Bell's palsy, paralysis of the facial nerve, producing distortion of one side of the face; -- so called from Sir Charles Bell, an English surgeon who described it.

Scrivener's palsy. See Writer's cramp, under Writer.

Shaking palsy, (Med.) paralysis agitans, a disease usually occurring in old people, characterized by muscular tremors and a peculiar shaking and tottering gait; now called parkinsonism, or Parkinson's disease.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

"disease causing paralysis," c.1300, palesie, from Anglo-French parlesie, Old French paralisie, from Vulgar Latin *paralysia, from Latin paralysis (see paralysis).


Etymology 1 n. (context pathology English) Complete or partial muscle paralysis of a body part, often accompanied by a loss of feeling and uncontrolled body movements such as shaking. vb. To paralyse, either completely or partially. Etymology 2

  1. (context colloquial English) chummy, friendly.

  1. n. loss of the ability to move a body part [syn: paralysis]

  2. a condition marked by uncontrollable tremor

  3. v. affect with palsy

  4. [also: palsied]


Palsy is a medical term which refers to various types of paralysis, often accompanied by weakness and the loss of feeling and uncontrolled body movements such as shaking. The word originates from the Anglo-Normanparalisie, parleisie et al., from the accusative form of Latin paralysis, from Ancient Greek παράλυσις (parálusis), from παραλύειν (paralúein, “to disable on one side”), from παρά (pará, “beside”) + λύειν (lúein, “loosen”). The word is longstanding in the English language, having appeared in the play Grim the Collier of Croydon, reported to have been written as early as 1599:

In some editions, the Bible passage of Luke 5:18 is translated to refer to "a man which was taken with a palsy". More modern editions simply refer to a man who is paralyzed. Although the term has historically been associated with paralysis generally, "is now almost always used in connection to the word “cerebral”—meaning the brain".

Specific kinds of palsy include:

  • Bell's palsy, partial facial paralysis
  • Bulbar palsy, impairment of cranial nerves
  • Cerebral palsy, a neural disorder caused by intracranial lesions
  • Conjugate gaze palsy, a disorder affecting the ability to move the eyes
  • Erb's palsy, also known as brachial palsy, involving paralysis of an arm
  • Spinal muscular atrophy, also known as wasting palsy
  • Squatter's palsy, a common name for bilateral peroneal nerve palsy that may be triggered by sustained squatting
  • Third nerve palsy, involving cranial nerve III

Usage examples of "palsy".

Severely paralyzed on his left side and diagnosed with bulbar palsy, he now moves about with the use of a walker.

The plan of a necessary and indiscriminate redemption likewise breaks the evident continuity of life, ignores the lineal causative power of experience, whereby each moment partially produces and moulds the next, destroys the probationary nature of our lot, and palsies the strength of moral motive.

The deciduous trees were always skeletal, the pines palsied, the willows wind-whipped and nubbly, the grass dun and crunchy underfoot, the water-rats always seeing the big drainage-picture first and gliding like night to the cement sides to flee.

For six weeks hewas a tramp, a thoroughly washed-out hopeless rumdum, with rheumy eyes and palsied hands and a weak bladder.

Subject to bouts of spinning faintness, followed by shuddering palsy, he handled himself with eggshell tenderness and kept still as much as he could.

She was an open car, capable of some eighteen miles on the flat, with tetanic gears and a perpetual palsy.

Children with something worse than missing limbs, or hydrocephaly or spina bifida or muscular dystrophy or cerebral palsy.

All reflecting persons, even those whose minds have been half palsied by the deadly dogmas which have done all they could to disorganize their thinking powers,--all reflecting persons, I say, must recognize, in looking back over a long life, how largely their creeds, their course of life, their wisdom and unwisdom, their whole characters, were shaped by the conditions which surrounded them.

Now, the sternest dogmas that ever came from a soul cramped or palsied by an obsolete creed become wonderfully softened in passing between the lips of a mother.

The hill-sides of Syria are riddled with holes, where miserable hermits, whose lives it had palsied, lived and died like the vermin they harbored.

Look how he scratches his brow with a palsied hand not entirely wiped clean of paint!

The nodes and cells of brick and wood and palsied concrete had gone rogue, spreading like malignant tumours.

Huntley changed colour: a sudden rush of thought palsied the beatings of his heart.

The sultry air impregnated with dust, the heat and smoke of burning palaces, palsied my limbs.

I told her how the fear of her danger palsied my exertions, how the knowledge of her safety strung my nerves to endurance.