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.

Sometimes spas·mod·i·cal.

Origin of spasmodic

1675–85; < Medieval Latin spasmodicus < Greek spasmṓd(ēs) spasmodic (derivative of spasmós spasm; see -ode1) + Latin -icus -ic
Related formsspas·mod·i·cal·ly, adverban·ti·spas·mod·ic, adjective, nounpost·spas·mod·ic, adjectiveun·spas·mod·ic, adjectiveun·spas·mod·i·cal, adjectiveun·spas·mod·i·cal·ly, adverb

Synonyms for spasmodic Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for spasmodically

Historical Examples of spasmodically

British Dictionary definitions for spasmodically


rarely spasmodical


taking place in sudden brief spells
of or characterized by spasms
Derived Formsspasmodically, adverb

Word Origin for spasmodic

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 spasmodically



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

spasmodically in Medicine




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.
Related formsspas•modi•cal•ly adv.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.