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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
  • Uvar Ivanovitch showed himself for an instant in the doorway, but he beat a retreat, convulsively twitching his fingers.

    On the Eve Ivan Turgenev
  • Nan suddenly threw her arms around his neck and held him convulsively.

    The Root of Evil Thomas Dixon
  • It convulsively held fast to its precious relics, clung to the pillars of its religion, which it regarded as the only asylum.

    Jewish History S. M. Dubnow
  • He pressed her to him convulsively, then gently released her.

    Robert Elsmere Mrs. Humphry Ward
  • convulsively grasping the banister with both hands, his broad shoulders formed a mighty buttress against the pressing flood.

    The Man-Wolf and Other Tales Emile Erckmann and Alexandre Chatrian
  • "It is I, father," she replied, clinging to him convulsively.

    Field and Forest Oliver Optic
  • But at that instant their desperate efforts tore it loose from the convulsively jerking hulk.

  • The boy's hand pressed hers convulsively, but he did not speak at first.

    Margaret Montfort Laura E. Richards
  • Calyste welcomed that word with a kiss, and felt the marquise tremble under it convulsively, with passionate joy.

    Beatrix Honore de Balzac
  • But Susan cried and sobbed all the more uncontrollably and convulsively.

    The Guardian Angel Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
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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