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Word of the Day
Thursday, September 23, 1999

Definitions for paroxysm

  1. (Medicine) A sudden attack, intensification, or recurrence of a disease.
  2. Any sudden and violent emotion or action; an outburst; a fit.

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Citations for paroxysm
But when he's on target -- and more often than not he is -- he can send you into paroxysms of laughter. William Triplett, Washington Post
Dickens had a paroxysm of rage: 'Bounding up from his chair, and throwing his knife and fork on his plate (which he smashed to atoms), he exclaimed: "Dolby! your infernal caution will be your ruin one of these days!"' Edmund Wilson, The Atlantic
Origin of paroxysm
Paroxysm is from Greek paroxusmos, from paroxunein, "to irritate, provoke or excite (literally to sharpen excessively)," from para-, "beyond" + oxunein, "to sharpen, to provoke."