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

Definition of spasm in English:


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.


[no object] Back to top  
Experience sudden involuntary muscular contractions; twitch convulsively: my body spasmed violently
More example sentences
  • The muscles in my lower back had just spasmed.
  • My chest begins to spasm from lack of oxygen.
  • He began to spasm from cramps at the end of a 90-minute practice.


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

Words that rhyme with spasm


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