paroxysm

[ par-uh k-siz-uh m ]
/ ˈpær əkˌsɪz əm /

noun

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.

QUIZZES

HEED THE VOX POPULI, AND TAKE THIS WORD OF THE DAY QUIZ!

Test your memory on these verbal firecrackers from the week of June 29 to July 5!
Question 1 of 7
anchorite

Origin of paroxysm

1570–80; earlier paroxismos < Greek paroxysmós irritation, derivative of paroxýnein to irritate. See par-, oxy-1, -ism

OTHER WORDS FROM paroxysm

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for paroxysm

British Dictionary definitions for paroxysm

paroxysm
/ (ˈpærəkˌsɪzəm) /

noun

an uncontrollable outbursta paroxysm of giggling
pathol
  1. a sudden attack or recurrence of a disease
  2. any fit or convulsion

Derived forms of paroxysm

paroxysmal or paroxysmic, adjectiveparoxysmally, adverb

Word Origin for paroxysm

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 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Medical definitions for paroxysm

paroxysm
[ părək-sĭz′əm ]

n.

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.

Other words from paroxysm

par′ox•ysmal (-ək-sĭzməl) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.