Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Relating to, affected by, or having the character of a spasm; convulsive.
  • adjective Happening intermittently; fitful.
  • adjective Given to sudden outbursts of energy or feeling; excitable.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Pertaining to, of the nature of, or characterized by spasm; affected by spasm or spasms; convulsive: as, spasmodic movements; spasmodic asthma; a spasmodic person.
  • Attended by or manifesting procedure by fits and starts; jerky; overstrained; high-strung; rhapsodical: as, spasmodic action or efforts; spasmodic utterance or literature.
  • noun Same as antispasmodic.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Med.) A medicine for spasm.
  • adjective (Med.) Of or pertaining to spasm; consisting in spasm; occuring in, or characterized by, spasms.
  • adjective Soon relaxed or exhausted; convulsive; intermittent.
  • adjective (Med.) an affection of childhood characterized by a stoppage of brathing developed suddenly and without fever, and produced by spasmodic contraction of the vocal cords. It is sometimes fatal. Called also laryngismus stridulus, and childcrowing.
  • adjective a stricture caused by muscular spasm without structural change. See Organic stricture, under Organic.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Of or relating to a spasm; resembling a sudden contraction of the muscles.
  • adjective Convulsive; consisting of spasms.
  • adjective Intermittent or fitful; occurring in abrupt bursts.
  • adjective Erratic or unsustained.

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

  • adjective affected by involuntary jerky muscular contractions; resembling a spasm
  • adjective occurring in spells and often abruptly

Etymologies

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

[New Latin spasmōdicus, from Greek spasmōdēs, from spasmos, spasm; see spasm.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From New Latin spasmodicus, from Ancient Greek σπασμώδης (spasmōdēs, "spasmodic"), from σπασμός (spasmos, "spasm").

Examples

  • Mr. Harding was some minutes quite dumbfounded, and Mr. Arabin could only talk in short, spasmodic sentences about his love and good fortune.

    Barchester Towers

  • Banks of snow cut them off; snowshoes sank in air pockets -- holes made by protruding limbs of the short, gnarled trees of timber line, -- and through these the man fought in short, spasmodic lunges, breaking the way for the woman who came behind, never stopping except to gather strength for a fresh attack, never ceasing for obstacle or for danger.

    The White Desert

  • It was grumbled out in short spasmodic sentences between the slow whiffs of his pipe, as he sat by the fire in a little parlour off the hall, with his indefatigable daughter at work at a table near him.

    Fenton's Quest

  • Mr. Harding was some minutes quite dumbfounded, and Mr. Arabin could only talk in short, spasmodic sentences about his love and good fortune.

    Barchester Towers

  • "You think my gait 'spasmodic' -- I am in danger -- Sir --," she wrote in June as if with a grin.

    'White Heat: The Friendship of Emily Dickinson and Thomas Wentworth Higginson'

  • Here's the thing that comes along to complicate any strict feminist criticism of objectification in the images of Prommenschenckel lying prone: She has a condition known as spasmodic torticollis.

    Miss Ability lays down on the job

  • Here's the thing that comes along to complicate any strict feminist criticism of objectification in the images of Prommenschenckel lying prone: She has a condition known as spasmodic torticollis.

    Archive 2007-03-01

  • Robert F, Kennedy suffers from a vocal disorder known as spasmodic dysphonia. 15,5500 people in this country are afflicted with the condition.

    Firedoglake » Good Governance Is More Than CYA…

  • * Moreover, many of the operating companies on the lower echelon sell and transmit electric energy or gas in interstate commerce to an extent that cannot be described as spasmodic or insignificant.

    The Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation Annotations of Cases Decided by the Supreme Court of the United States to June 30, 1952

  • This last quality might be called spasmodic or accidental, whereas the others were permanent and constant.

    The Blind Spot

Comments

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  • Citation on cant.

    July 26, 2008