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spasmodic

[spaz-mod-ik]
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adjective
  1. pertaining to or of the nature of a spasm; characterized by spasms.
  2. resembling a spasm or spasms; sudden but brief; sporadic: spasmodic efforts at reform.
  3. given to or characterized by bursts of excitement.
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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

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


Examples from the Web for spasmodically

Historical Examples of spasmodically

  • He clutched at it spasmodically, to be sure it was still safe.

    At the Sign of the Jack O'Lantern

    Myrtle Reed

  • Sylvia drew away from Runyon, not spasmodically, but as if she were moving in her sleep.

  • For the lad caught him spasmodically by the arm with both hands.

    The Lost Middy

    George Manville Fenn

  • "My luck is serving me to-day," the newcomer went on spasmodically.

    The Woman in Black

    Edmund Clerihew Bentley

  • He extended his arm, and moved it spasmodically to encourage them.


British Dictionary definitions for spasmodically

spasmodic

rarely spasmodical

adjective
  1. taking place in sudden brief spells
  2. of or characterized by spasms
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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

spasmodic

adj.

1681, from Medieval Latin spasmodicus, from Greek spasmodes "of the nature of a spasm," from spasmos (see spasm) + -odes "like."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

spasmodically in Medicine

spasmodic

(spăz-mŏdĭk)
adj.
  1. Relating to, affected by, or having the character of a spasm; convulsive.
  2. Happening intermittently; fitful.
  3. Given to sudden outbursts of energy or of feeling; excitable.
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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.