spastic

[ spas-tik ]
/ ˈspæs tɪk /

adjective

Pathology. pertaining to, of the nature of, or characterized by spasm, especially tonic spasm.
Slang: Offensive. awkward or clumsy.

noun

Pathology. a person exhibiting spasms.
Slang: Offensive. an awkward or clumsy person.

QUIZZES

DO YOU KNOW THIS VOCABULARY FROM "THE HANDMAID'S TALE"?

"The Handmaid's Tale" was required reading for many of us in school. Everyone else has probably watched the very popular and addictive TV show. Do you remember this vocabulary from the book, and do you know what these terms mean?
Question 1 of 10
decorum

Origin of spastic

1745–55; < Latin spasticus afflicted with spasms < Greek spastikós of a spasm, equivalent to spas-, stem of spân to pull off, pluck, convulse + -tikos -tic

usage note for spastic

The slang use of spastic (or spaz ) to mean “clumsy” is perceived as insulting to people who are affected with muscular spasms.

OTHER WORDS FROM spastic

spas·ti·cal·ly, adverbspas·tic·i·ty [spa-stis-i-tee] /spæˈstɪs ɪ ti/, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for spasticity

spastic
/ (ˈspæstɪk, spæsˈtɪsɪtɪ) /

noun

an old-fashioned and now offensive name for a person who has cerebral palsy
taboo, slang a clumsy, incapable, or incompetent person

adjective

affected by or resembling spasms
taboo, slang clumsy, incapable or incompetent

Derived forms of spastic

spastically, adverbspasticity, noun See cerebral palsy

Word Origin for spastic

C18: from Latin spasticus, from Greek spastikos, from 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

Medical definitions for spasticity (1 of 2)

spasticity
[ spă-stĭsĭ-tē ]

n.

A spastic state or condition.
Spastic paralysis.

Medical definitions for spasticity (2 of 2)

spastic
[ spăstĭk ]

adj.

Relating to or affected by spasm.
Relating to spastic paralysis.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.