n. pl. pal·sies
1. Complete or partial muscle paralysis, often accompanied by loss of sensation and uncontrollable body movements or tremors.
a. A weakening or debilitating influence.
b. An enfeebled condition or debilitated state thought to result from such an influence.
3. A fit of strong emotion marked by the inability to act: "Flaherty dithered in a little palsy of indignation" (Anthony Burgess).
tr.v. pal·sied, pal·sy·ing, pal·sies
a. To paralyze.
b. To deprive of strength.
2. To make helpless, as with fear.
[Middle English palsie, alteration of Old French paralisie, alteration of Latin paralysis; see PARALYSIS.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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