For three straight days, a spasm of violence has gripped Cairo, leaving 13 people dead and scores wounded.
Essentially, this is no more than a spasm of mindless and brutal high summer destruction.
A spasm of computer trouble yesterday delayed finishing some thoughts on Mitt Romney's USA Today op-ed about social safety nets.
c.1400, from Old French spasme, from Latin spasmus "a spasm," from Greek spasmos "a spasm, convulsion," from span "draw up, tear away, contract violently, pull," from PIE *spe- "stretch." Figurative sense of "a sudden convulsion" (of emotion, politics, etc.) is attested from 1817.
1900, from spasm (n.). Related: Spasmed; spasming.
A sudden involuntary contraction of a muscle or group of muscles.
A muscle spasm.