paroxysm [ par- uh k-siz- uh m] Word Origin See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com any sudden, violent outburst; a fit of violent action or emotion: paroxysms of rage. . Pathology a severe attack or a sudden increase in intensity of a disease, usually recurring periodically. Origin of paroxysm 1570–80;
irritation, derivative of
to irritate. See
-ism Related forms par·ox·ys·mal, par·ox·ys·mic, adjective par·ox·ys·mal·ly, adverb hy·per·par·ox·ysm, noun post·par·ox·ys·mal, adjective pre·par·ox·ys·mal, adjective
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for paroxysmic an uncontrollable outburst a paroxysm of giggling pathol a sudden attack or recurrence of a disease any fit or convulsion Derived Forms paroxysmal or paroxysmic, adjective paroxysmally, adverb Word Origin
C17: via French from Medieval Latin
paroxysmus annoyance, from Greek paroxusmos, from paroxunein to goad, from para- 1 (intensifier) + oxunein to sharpen, from oxus sharp
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
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Word Origin and History for paroxysmic paroxysm n.
"sudden attack, convulsion," early 15c., from Middle French
paroxysme (16c.), earlier paroxime (13c.), from Medieval Latin paroxysmus "irritation, fit of a disease," from Greek paroxysmos "irritation, exasperation," from paroxynein "to irritate, goad, provoke," from para- "beyond" (see para- (1)) + oxynein "sharpen, goad," from oxys "sharp, pointed" (see acrid). Non-medical sense first attested c.1600. Related: Paroxysmal.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
paroxysm (păr ′ək-sĭz′əm) A sharp spasm or fit; a convulsion. A sudden onset of a symptom or disease, especially one with recurrent manifestations, such as the chills and fever of malaria. Related forms par′ox•ys ( ′mal -ək-sĭz) ′məl adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
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