- pertaining to or of the nature of a spasm; characterized by spasms.
- resembling a spasm or spasms; sudden but brief; sporadic: spasmodic efforts at reform.
- given to or characterized by bursts of excitement.
Origin of spasmodic
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
2. occasional, intermittent, periodic, fleeting.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for spasmodic
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
But the benefit is spasmodic, discontinuous, and extremely limited.Literary Tours in The Highlands and Islands of Scotland
Daniel Turner Holmes
- taking place in sudden brief spells
- of or characterized by spasms
C17: New Latin, from Greek spasmos spasm
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
Word Origin and History for spasmodic
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
- Relating to, affected by, or having the character of a spasm; convulsive.
- Happening intermittently; fitful.
- Given to sudden outbursts of energy or of feeling; excitable.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.