spasmodic

[spaz-mod-ik]
adjective
1.
pertaining to or of the nature of a spasm; characterized by spasms.
2.
resembling a spasm or spasms; sudden but brief; sporadic: spasmodic efforts at reform.
3.
given to or characterized by bursts of excitement.
Also, spasmodical.


Origin:
1675–85; < Medieval Latin spasmodicus < Greek spasmṓd(ēs) spasmodic (derivative of spasmós spasm; see -ode1) + Latin -icus -ic

spasmodically, adverb
antispasmodic, adjective, noun
postspasmodic, adjective
unspasmodic, adjective
unspasmodical, adjective
unspasmodically, adverb


2. occasional, intermittent, periodic, fleeting.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
spasmodic or spasmodical (spæzˈmɒdɪk)
 
adj
1.  taking place in sudden brief spells
2.  of or characterized by spasms
 
[C17: New Latin, from Greek spasmosspasm]
 
spasmodical or spasmodical
 
adj
 
[C17: New Latin, from Greek spasmosspasm]
 
spas'modically or spasmodical
 
adv

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

spasmodic
1681, from M.L. spasmodicus, from Gk. spasmodes "of the nature of a spasm," from spasmos (see spasm) + -odes "like."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

spasmodic spas·mod·ic (spāz-mŏd'ĭk)
adj.

  1. Relating to, affected by, or having the character of a spasm; convulsive.

  2. Happening intermittently; fitful.

  3. Given to sudden outbursts of energy or of feeling; excitable.


spas·mod'i·cal·ly adv.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Example sentences
Sneeze: to make a sudden violent spasmodic audible expiration of breath through
  the nose and mouth, especially as a reflex act.
The movie offers a grab bag of oddball characters who seem unfocused, and its
  visual rhythms are jerky and spasmodic.
Sidling up to the animal, a flirtatious grin on his face, he falls into a
  spasmodic goat dance.
The music is helpful but the spasmodic sounds are quite unnecessary.
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