• synonyms


See more synonyms for spasmodic on Thesaurus.com
  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

See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
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


rarely spasmodical

  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



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


  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.