- See under spasm(def 1).
Origin of tonic spasm
- Pathology. a sudden, abnormal, involuntary muscular contraction, consisting of a continued muscular contraction (tonic spasm) or of a series of alternating muscular contractions and relaxations (clonic spasm).
- any sudden, brief spell of great energy, activity, feeling, etc.
Origin of spasm
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- an involuntary muscular contraction, esp one resulting in cramp or convulsion
- a sudden burst of activity, emotion, etc
Word Origin and History for tonic spasm
c.1400, from Old French spasme, from Latin spasmus "a spasm," from Greek spasmos "a spasm, convulsion," from span "draw up, tear away, contract violently, pull," from PIE *spe- "stretch." Figurative sense of "a sudden convulsion" (of emotion, politics, etc.) is attested from 1817.
1900, from spasm (n.). Related: Spasmed; spasming.
- A sudden involuntary contraction of a muscle or group of muscles.
- A muscle spasm.
- A continuous involuntary muscular contraction.entasia