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[kuh n-vuhl-siv] /kənˈvʌl sɪv/
of the nature of or characterized by convulsions or spasms.
producing or accompanied by convulsion:
convulsive rage.
Origin of convulsive
From the Latin word convulsīvus, dating back to 1605-15. See convulse, -ive
Related forms
convulsively, adverb
convulsiveness, noun
postconvulsive, adjective
unconvulsive, adjective
unconvulsively, adverb
unconvulsiveness, noun
1. spasmodic. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for convulsively
Historical Examples
  • convulsively he clutched it, wound it about one arm, and bade them haul.

  • He thrust the paper into his bosom, and then abruptly, convulsively, held out his hand.

    Scaramouche Rafael Sabatini
  • She walked to the window, convulsively grasping her pocket-handkerchief.

    Audrey Craven May Sinclair
  • The sack rose and fell as if something under it was squirming about convulsively.

    Out of the Depths

    Robert Ames Bennet
  • She could not finish the sentence for the squatter had pressed her to him convulsively.

    Tess of the Storm Country

    Grace Miller White
  • The Twins convulsively gripped each other's hands under the table.

    The Right Stuff Ian Hay
  • Louise pulled Maxwell convulsively to a halt, for the man was Godolphin.

    The Story of a Play W. D. Howells
  • Soames convulsively clenched his jaws, for his teeth were beginning to chatter.

    The Yellow Claw Sax Rohmer
  • Nan suddenly threw her arms around his neck and held him convulsively.

    The Root of Evil

    Thomas Dixon
  • He pressed her to him convulsively, then gently released her.

    Robert Elsmere Mrs. Humphry Ward
Word Origin and History for convulsively



1610s, from French convulsif, from Medieval Latin *convulsivus, from convulsus, past participle of convellere (see convulse (v.)). Related: Convulsively.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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convulsively in Medicine

convulsive con·vul·sive (kən-vŭl'sĭv)

  1. Characterized by or having the nature of convulsions.

  2. Having or producing convulsions.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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