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.

Origin of paroxysm

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

Related forms

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for paroxysmal

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

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

Medicine definitions for paroxysmal

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.

Related forms

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.