Definition of Quadriplegic

noun. Complete paralysis of the body from the neck down.

quadri-plegic adj. & n.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

noun. quadriplegic - a person who is paralyzed in both arms and both legs

handicapped person - a person who has some condition that markedly restricts their ability to function physically or mentally or socially

Neurology Paralysis of both arms and both legs, as seen in a high spinal cord accident or stroke. See Spinal cord injury, Stroke.

paralysis of all four limbs; tetraplegia. Indicative of spinal cord injury in the upper cervical area.
May be acute or gradual in onset depending on the nature of the lesion.

Word Origin and History

1921, a medical hybrid coined from L. prefix quadri- & "four" + -plegic, & as in paraplegic, & ult. from Gk. plege & "stroke," from root of plessein & "to strike." A correct, all-Gk. form would be *tessaraplegic. & The noun is first attested 1958, from the adj.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Literary usage of Quadriplegic

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

1. Handbook of Severe Disability: A Text for Rehabilitation Counselors, Other edited by Walter C. Stolov, Michael R. Clowers (2000)

"... and some helpful adaptations are discussed Symington DC, Boyd E, Vasa J: Rotating table for the high level quadriplegic Arch Phys Med Rehabil 55:481-483 ..."

2. Building a Better Delivery System: A New Engineering/health Care Partnership by Proctor P. Reid, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine (U.S.) (2005)

"An array of small electrodes implanted into the brain of a 25-year-old quadriplegic man was programmed through wired connection signals to control a ..."

3. Physical Fitness: A Guide for Individuals with Spinal Cord Injury by David F. Apple, Jr. (1996)

"The paraplegic-backhand and the quadriplegic- backhand techniques are ... The quadriplegic backhand was originally developed by a Swedish athlete, ..."

4. Monographic Medicine by Albion Walter Hewlett, Lewellys Franklin Barker, Milton Howard Fussell, Henry Leopold Elsner (1916)

"There are cases in which acute alcoholic poisoning leads at once to alarming and grave constitutional symptoms, which may precede quadriplegic paralysis hy ..."

5. Disability and Social Change: A South African Agenda by Brian Watermeyer (2007)

"... EMPLOYMENT AND SKILLS DEVELOPMENT Already, the quadriplegic Association of South Africa has launched through the Services SETA a new venture creation ..."

  • Definition of quadriplegic and quadriplegia

    Quadriplegic and Tetraplegic definition