Definition of Paraplegic

Complete paralysis of the lower half of the body including both legs, usually caused by damage to the spinal cord.

n paralysis distinguished by functional loss in the lower limbs and trunk typically due to vehicular or sporting accidents, gunshot wounds, and falls. Nontraumatic causes like spina bifida, neoplasms, or scoliosis can also cause paraplegia.

n a paralysis characterized by motor or sensory loss in the lower limbs and trunk. Such events occur as a result of automobile and motorcycle accidents, sporting accidents, falls, and gunshot wounds.

Neurology Complete paralysis, paresthesias, loss of sensation and control of voluntary movement in legs, post spinal cord injury or disease.

Word Origin and History

"paralysis of the lower half of the body," 1657, coined in Mod.L. from Ionic Gk. paraplegie  "paralysis of one side of the body," from paraplessein  "strike at the side," paraplessesthai  "be stricken on one side," from para-  "beside" + plessein  "to strike" (see plague). The adj. paraplegic  is attested from c.1822; the noun meaning "paraplegic person" is first recorded 1890. An earlier adj. form was paraplectic  (1661).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Literary usage of Paraplegic

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. Nervous and Mental Diseases by Archibald Church, Frederick Peterson (1919)

"THE paraplegic STATE. The paraplegic state is the usual termination of a myelitis or any indiscriminate ?? nl lesion that does ..."

2. Lectures on the Diseases of the Nervous System: Delivered at La Salpêtrière by Jean Martin Charcot (1879)

"Example of the paraplegic form of hysterical contracture. Prognosis.—Sudden recovery in some cases. Scientific explanation of certain reputedly miraculous ..."

3. A Treatise on the Practice of Medicine by George Bacon Wood (1866)

"The disease is pr^ bably seated in the nervous sheaths in the local cases, and in the membrane- of the spinal cord when it is paraplegic. Hysterical Palsy. ..."

4. Various Forms of Hysterical Or Functional Paralysis by H. Charlton Bastian (1893)

"Thus in some cases the paralysis assumes a hemiplegic and in others a paraplegic type; while more frequently still it occurs in the form of a monoplegia, ..."

5. Dislocations and Joint-fractures by Frederic Jay Cotton (1910)

"paraplegic Cases.—If there is partial paraplegia, we must make up our minds in each case whether the displacement present ai the lime is probably causing ..."

6. The British and Foreign Medical Review Or Quarterly Journal of Practical (1837)

"... would not feel much difficulty in attributing to a similar cause the inactivity of the bowels which sometimes accompanies paraplegic affections. ..."

7. On some forms of paralysis from peripheral neuritis ; of gouty, alcoholic by Thomas Buzzard (1886)

"... affection of the lower extremities— Seen in multiple neuritis from other causes—Also in Kakke—A paraplegic form of neuritis from unknown cause—Examples. ..."

  • Definition of paraplegic and paraplegia