clonic spasm


noun Medicine/Medical.

See under spasm(def 1).

Nearby words

  1. clonal selection theory,
  2. clonazepam,
  3. clone,
  4. clonic,
  5. clonic convulsion,
  6. clonicity,
  7. clonicotonic,
  8. clonidine,
  9. cloning,
  10. cloning vector

Origin of clonic spasm

First recorded in 1840–50


[ spaz-uhm ]
/ ˈspæz əm /


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

1350–1400; Middle English spasme < Latin spasmus < Greek spasmós convulsion, derivative of spân to draw a sword or cord, wrench (off), convulse

SYNONYMS FOR spasm Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for clonic spasm


/ (ˈspæzəm) /


an involuntary muscular contraction, esp one resulting in cramp or convulsion
a sudden burst of activity, emotion, etc

Word Origin for spasm

C14: from Latin spasmus, from Greek spasmos a cramp, from span to tear

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 clonic spasm
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for clonic spasm


[ spăzəm ]


A sudden involuntary contraction of a muscle or group of muscles.
A muscle spasm.


Alternate involuntary contraction and relaxation of a muscle.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.