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convulsion

[kuh n-vuhl-shuh n] /kənˈvʌl ʃən/
noun
1.
contortion of the body caused by violent, involuntary muscular contractions of the extremities, trunk, and head.
2.
violent agitation or disturbance; commotion.
3.
an outburst of great, uncontrollable laughter.
Origin of convulsion
1575-1585
1575-85; < Latin convulsiōn- (stem of convulsiō). See convulse, -ion
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for convulsion
Historical Examples
  • The sob with which she ends alarms him by its kinship to a convulsion.

    Alas! Rhoda Broughton
  • The forest fairly rocked under the convulsion of the elements.

    In the Valley Harold Frederic
  • She seemed about to throw back her hands as though a convulsion was imminent.

    A Love Episode Emile Zola
  • The schooner shook with such a convulsion that I was persuaded she had been split.

    The Frozen Pirate W. Clark Russell
  • There must have been a convulsion indeed, he declared, as ruefully and tenderly he gathered the fragments.

    Tristram of Blent Anthony Hope
  • I had a vague belief that he was suffering from a fit or some form of convulsion.

    The Damned Thing Ambrose Bierce
  • He could not have said precisely what it was, but it seemed to be a compromise between fear and convulsion.

    The Goose Man Jacob Wassermann
  • It fell with one convulsion on the ground, and gave up the ghost.

    Pelham, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • And its ichthyolites, if not previously absorbed, were probably destroyed in the convulsion.

  • A convulsion, the doctor says it was; he said all along he might have them, but I thought he was better.

    The Combined Maze May Sinclair
British Dictionary definitions for convulsion

convulsion

/kənˈvʌlʃən/
noun
1.
a violent involuntary contraction of a muscle or muscles
2.
a violent upheaval, disturbance, or agitation, esp a social one
3.
(usually pl) (informal) uncontrollable laughter: I was in convulsions
Derived Forms
convulsionary, adjective
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
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Word Origin and History for convulsion
n.

1580s, from Latin convulsionem (nominative convulsio), noun of action from past participle stem of convellere "to tear loose," from com- "together" (see com-) + vellere "to pluck, pull violently."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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convulsion in Medicine

convulsion con·vul·sion (kən-vŭl'shən)
n.
An intense, paroxysmal, involuntary muscular contraction.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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convulsion in Culture

convulsion definition


A severe, often violent involuntary contraction of the muscles. Convulsions may be caused by high fevers or poisoning and often accompany such diseases such as epilepsy.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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