Definition of spastic in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈspastik/


1Relating to or affected by muscle spasm.
1.1Relating to or denoting a form of muscular weakness ( spastic paralysis) typical of cerebral palsy, caused by damage to the brain or spinal cord and involving reflex resistance to passive movement of the limbs and difficulty in initiating and controlling muscular movement.
Example sentences
  • Here the symptoms were epileptic seizures, spastic movements, dance-like twitching, and formication.
  • Typically, clients experiencing spastic paralysis are only able to use the involved limb in a limited manner because they lack the motor control needed for most activities.
  • He has cerebral palsy affecting his whole body with spastic, continuous purposeless movements.
1.2(Of a person) affected with cerebral palsy.
1.3 informal, offensive Incompetent or uncoordinated.


1A person with cerebral palsy.
Example sentences
  • The concept of independent living among persons with disability including spastics and the mentally challenged is picking up all over the globe.
1.1 informal, offensive An incompetent or uncoordinated person.


Spastic has been used in medical senses since the 18th century and is still a neutral term for conditions like spastic colon or spastic paraplegia. In the 1970s and 1980s, spastic, usually used as a noun, became a term of abuse and was directed toward anyone regarded as incompetent or physically uncoordinated. Nowadays, this latter use of spastic, whether as a noun or as an adjective, is likely to cause offense, and it is preferable to use phrasing such as person with cerebral palsy instead of the noun spastic.



Example sentences
  • Overactive bladder is a condition in which the muscle surrounding the bladder contracts spastically causing frequent urination or incontinence.
  • Social Dancing is so spastically uneven and nerve-wracking; so full of jittery caffeine beats and saccharin melodies that I find it impossible not to love every infantile moment about it.
  • I saw Kayla and Andrew dancing spastically in the middle of the room.


Pronunciation: /spaˈstisədē/
Example sentences
  • Although we based the study around spasticity, we also wanted to capture any treatment effects among the other important symptoms described by people with MS.
  • A new type of drug treatment is showing promise in children with moderate to severe spasticity.
  • Her daughter suffers from bi-lateral spasticity, a form of cerebral palsy which Miller believes was induced by toxins accumulating in her breast milk.


Mid 18th century: via Latin from Greek spastikos 'pulling', from span 'pull'.

Words that rhyme with spastic

bombastic, drastic, dynastic, ecclesiastic, elastic, encomiastic, enthusiastic, fantastic, gymnastic, iconoclastic, mastic, monastic, neoplastic, orgastic, orgiastic, periphrastic, plastic, pleonastic, sarcastic, scholastic, scholiastic

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: spas·tic

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