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spasmodic

[spaz-mod-ik] /spæzˈmɒd ɪk/
adjective
1.
pertaining to or of the nature of a spasm; characterized by spasms.
2.
resembling a spasm or spasms; sudden but brief; sporadic:
spasmodic efforts at reform.
3.
given to or characterized by bursts of excitement.
Sometimes, spasmodical.
Origin of spasmodic
1675-1685
1675-85; < Medieval Latin spasmodicus < Greek spasmṓd(ēs) spasmodic (derivative of spasmós spasm; see -ode1) + Latin -icus -ic
Related forms
spasmodically, adverb
antispasmodic, adjective, noun
postspasmodic, adjective
unspasmodic, adjective
unspasmodical, adjective
unspasmodically, adverb
Synonyms
2. occasional, intermittent, periodic, fleeting.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for spasmodic
Historical Examples
  • It was an element of spasmodic conscience than he saw here, and it troubled him.

    Malbone Thomas Wentworth Higginson
  • Shocked into spasmodic action, the American jumped from barrel to ratlines.

    The Cruise of the Dry Dock T. S. Stribling
  • It was strange that he should have slept at all, for there had been spasmodic firing all night.

    Changing Winds

    St. John G. Ervine
  • The sole shadow on his career was a spasmodic tendency to be bored. '

    A Great Man Arnold Bennett
  • But the benefit is spasmodic, discontinuous, and extremely limited.

  • Another emitted a spasmodic laugh through his chattering teeth.

    The Rescue Joseph Conrad
  • His thinking processes were sluggish and spasmodic; but suddenly the truth came to him.

    Victory Joseph Conrad
  • Her letter was supplicatory, spasmodic, full of sorrow, and full of love.

    Is He Popenjoy?

    Anthony Trollope
  • An enemy to spasms in every form, he abhors the spasmodic School of Poets.

  • This control was spasmodic, because of the fewness of the watchbirds.

    Watchbird Robert Sheckley
British Dictionary definitions for spasmodic

spasmodic

/spæzˈmɒdɪk/
adjective
1.
taking place in sudden brief spells
2.
of or characterized by spasms
Derived Forms
spasmodically, adverb
Word Origin
C17: New Latin, from Greek spasmosspasm
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for spasmodic
adj.

1681, from Medieval Latin spasmodicus, from Greek spasmodes "of the nature of a spasm," from spasmos (see spasm) + -odes "like."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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spasmodic in Medicine

spasmodic spas·mod·ic (spāz-mŏd'ĭk)
adj.

  1. Relating to, affected by, or having the character of a spasm; convulsive.

  2. Happening intermittently; fitful.

  3. Given to sudden outbursts of energy or of feeling; excitable.


spas·mod'i·cal·ly adv.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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