convulsion

[kuhn-vuhl-shuhn]
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:
1575–85; < Latin convulsiōn- (stem of convulsiō). See convulse, -ion

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World English Dictionary
convulsion (kənˈvʌlʃən)
 
n
1.  a violent involuntary contraction of a muscle or muscles
2.  a violent upheaval, disturbance, or agitation, esp a social one
3.  informal (usually plural) uncontrollable laughter: I was in convulsions
 
con'vulsionary
 
adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

convulsion
1585, from L. convulsionem, from pp. stem of convellere "to tear loose," from com- "together" + vellere "to pluck, pull violently."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

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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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

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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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

convulsion

condition characterized by violent, uncontrolled spasmodic contractions and relaxations of the voluntary muscles. Convulsions may be a symptom resulting from various conditions and diseases, such as epilepsy, uremia, eclampsia, rabies, tetanus, strychnine poisoning, and cerebral tumour. They are usually accompanied by loss of consciousness. During a convulsion the individual's clothing should be loosened around the neck, the head should be cushioned with a pillow, and any sharp or hard objects should be removed from the area. An object should never be inserted into the person's mouth during a convulsion. Medical treatment should be sought immediately after the convulsion ceases.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
He would lie motionless beneath a lily pad and then explode in a convulsion of
  movement if something tasty came by.
But a political convulsion has now upended this picture.
All coming together, interest was diffused, and no convulsion thus far is
  apprehended.
Now, with the big switch, there has been a nationwide convulsion.
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