Why was clemency trending last week?


[kuh n-vuhl-shuh n] /kənˈvʌl ʃən/
contortion of the body caused by violent, involuntary muscular contractions of the extremities, trunk, and head.
violent agitation or disturbance; commotion.
an outburst of great, uncontrollable laughter.
Origin of convulsion
1575-85; < Latin convulsiōn- (stem of convulsiō). See convulse, -ion Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for convulsions
  • Fortunately, she was in a clinic, where the doctor guessed immediately that she was in the grip of malarial convulsions.
  • The sedative medications ward off convulsions and brain damage.
  • Foreign donors sometimes bring food and tablets to treat convulsions.
  • It attacks the brain, causing agitation, terror and convulsions.
  • While shooting video, however, movement is so blurred that you appear to be having convulsions every time you nod your head.
  • Tetanus is a disease that causes severe muscular contractions and convulsions.
  • Amid the political convulsions that rippled westwards, he became a revolutionary socialist.
  • But even underground testing left craters and seismic convulsions.
  • Types of seizures vary from staring episodes or eye blinks to sudden falls or convulsions.
  • When the oil runs out and foreign buyers stop buying gilts, the country is in for some huge convulsions.
British Dictionary definitions for convulsions


a violent involuntary contraction of a muscle or muscles
a violent upheaval, disturbance, or agitation, esp a social one
(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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for convulsions



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
Cite This Source
convulsions in Medicine

convulsion con·vul·sion (kən-vŭl'shən)
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.
Cite This Source
convulsions 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.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for convulsion

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for convulsions

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with convulsions

Nearby words for convulsions