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spasmodic

or spasmodical

[spaz-mod-ik] /spæzˈmɒd ɪk/
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.
Origin of spasmodic
1675-1685
1675-85; < Medieval Latin spasmodicus < Greek spasmṓd(ēs) spasmodic (derivative of spasmós spasm; see -ode1) + Latin -icus -ic
Related forms
spasmodically, adverb
antispasmodic, adjective, noun
postspasmodic, adjective
unspasmodic, adjective
unspasmodical, adjective
unspasmodically, adverb
Synonyms
2. occasional, intermittent, periodic, fleeting.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for spasmodically
Historical Examples
  • As they talked only commonplaces, awkwardly and spasmodically and slowly, she rose and pressed the button of the bell.

  • He clutched at it spasmodically, to be sure it was still safe.

  • Silently he held her hands for a few seconds, pressed them spasmodically and the next moment they were free.

    Madame Flirt Charles E. Pearce
  • For the lad caught him spasmodically by the arm with both hands.

    The Lost Middy George Manville Fenn
  • From time to time this hand clenched tightly and spasmodically into a fist, large, heavy-boned and wicked-looking.

    The Turtles of Tasman Jack London
  • "My luck is serving me to-day," the newcomer went on spasmodically.

    The Woman in Black Edmund Clerihew Bentley
  • Plants must receive care when it is needed, and this care should be given regularly, instead of spasmodically, to be effective.

    ABC of Gardening Eben Eugene Rexford
  • He extended his arm, and moved it spasmodically to encourage them.

    The Forsyte Saga, Complete John Galsworthy
  • spasmodically, he set his fangs in a viselike tightening of his grip.

    Buff: A Collie and other dog-stories Albert Payson Terhune
  • Then she saw Margaret, smiled at her spasmodically, and yawned again.

    Fair Margaret Francis Marion Crawford
British Dictionary definitions for spasmodically

spasmodic

/spæzˈmɒdɪk/
adjective
1.
taking place in sudden brief spells
2.
of or characterized by spasms
Derived Forms
spasmodically, adverb
Word Origin
C17: New Latin, from Greek spasmosspasm
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 spasmodically

spasmodic

adj.

1681, from Medieval Latin spasmodicus, from Greek spasmodes "of the nature of a spasm," from spasmos (see spasm) + -odes "like."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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spasmodically in Medicine

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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