from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A sudden outburst of emotion or action: a paroxysm of laughter.
- n. A sudden attack, recurrence, or intensification of a disease.
- n. A spasm or fit; a convulsion.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A random or sudden outburst (of activity).
- n. An explosive event during a volcanic eruption.
- n. A sudden recurrence of a disease.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The fit, attack, or exacerbation, of a disease that occurs at intervals, or has decided remissions or intermissions.
- n. Any sudden and violent emotion; spasmodic passion or action; a convulsion; a fit.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In medicine, a fit of any disease; periodical exacerbation of a disease.
- n. Hence Any sudden and violent action; spasmodic affection or action; convulsion; fit.
- n. Figuratively, a quarrel.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a sudden uncontrollable attack
Middle English paroxism, periodic attack of a disease, from Medieval Latin paroxysmus, from Greek paroxusmos, from paroxūnein, to stimulate, irritate : para-, intensive pref.; see para-1 + oxūnein, to goad, sharpen (from oxus, sharp; see ak- in Indo-European roots).(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French paroxysme, from Medieval Latin paroxysmus, from Ancient Greek παροξυσμός (paroksusmos, "irritation, the severe fit of a disease"), from παροξύνειν (paroksunein, "to sharpen, irritate"), from παρά (pará) + ὀξύνειν (oksunein, "sharpen"), from ὀξύς (oksus, "sharp"). (Wiktionary)