Definition of spasm in English:


Line breaks: spasm
Pronunciation: /ˈspaz(ə)m


  • 1A sudden involuntary muscular contraction or convulsive movement: shifting heavy loads without help brought on muscular back spasms
    More example sentences
    • Her body convulsed into spasms and the twitching got worse as the situation got worse.
    • It seemed he was having violent spasms and convulsing.
    • When I released her, her body convulsed with spasms of pain.
    convulsion, contraction, throes, cramp; twitch, jerk, tic, start, shudder, shiver, tremor, tremble
  • 1.1A sudden and brief spell of an activity or sensation: a spasm of coughing woke him
    More example sentences
    • Most intriguing on these two brief noise spasms is lead singer Beverly's grating howl.
    • The Pritzkers can only hope that all their current troubles will be fleeting, a brief spasm rather than the beginning of a decline in their fortunes.
    • Swanson's hit-and-miss lyrics, combined with the spasms and outbursts of the moog keyboard, completed the bands' sound.
  • 1.2 [mass noun] Prolonged involuntary muscle contraction: the airways in the lungs go into spasm
    More example sentences
    • Heat is often used after the first 24 to 48 hours to reduce pain, relieve muscle spasm, and improve local blood flow.
    • As he twisted around to glance at the television news, his back went into spasm.
    • The disease is characterized by a gradual increase in skeletal muscle rigidity and muscle spasm.


late Middle English: from Old French spasme, or via Latin from Greek spasmos, spasma, from span 'pull'.

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