from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Marked by or having the nature of convulsions.
  • adj. Having or producing convulsions.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Marked by or having the nature of convulsions.
  • adj. Having or producing convulsions.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Producing, or attended with, convulsions or spasms; characterized by convulsions; convulsionary.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Producing or attended by convulsion; tending to convulse: as, “convulsive rage,”
  • Of the nature of or characterized by convulsions or spasms.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. resembling a convulsion in being sudden and violent
  • adj. affected by involuntary jerky muscular contractions; resembling a spasm


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Victims of toxic gas canisters fired by Isræli troops writhe in convulsive pain on hospital beds, screaming at the top of their lungs while family and medical aides try vainly to restrain them.

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  • He was suffering from a bad cold, which doubled him up in convulsive coughing spells and made his eyes heavy and bloodshot.

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  • She attempted two or three times to speak, but not a word escaped from her quivering lips; and the tears gushing from her eyes followed each other in quick succession down her cheeks; and, finally, her pent-up feelings found expression in short, convulsive sobs.

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  • He felt the foam on his lips and he thought with every instant that the surcharged veins would burst; hands of steel seemed to crush in upon his chest, knotted cords to tighten in excruciating pain about his loins; he breathed in short, convulsive gasps; his eyes were blind, and his head swam.

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  • Her withered bosom rose and fell in short, convulsive sobs, and it was evident that she could scarcely stand.

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  • Her bosom rose and fell in short convulsive breathings; and, despite an evident effort to stifle it, an audible sigh escaped her.

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  • _ -- Although there is no disease of the nervous system which can be properly termed convulsive, or justify the use of the word convulsion to indicate any particular disease, yet it is often such a prominent symptom that a few words may not be out of place.

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  • Although not a surrealist, Gray does ascribe to the idea of convulsive beauty: beauty, even grim beauty, in the service of liberty.

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  • Whatever may be the remote cause of paroxysms of asthma, the immediate cause of the convulsive respiration, whether in the common asthma, or in what is termed the convulsive asthma, which are perhaps only different degrees of the same disease, must be owing to violent voluntary exertions to relieve pain, as in other convulsions; and the increase of irritability to internal stimuli, or of sensibility, during sleep must occasion them to commence at this time.

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  • But history has shown that these big, "convulsive" plans rarely fit real world circumstances and in the 20th century were typically disastrous.

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