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[spas-tik] /ˈspæs tɪk/
Pathology. pertaining to, of the nature of, or characterized by spasm, especially tonic spasm.
Slang: Offensive. awkward or clumsy.
Pathology. a person exhibiting spasms.
Slang: Offensive. an awkward or clumsy person.
Origin of spastic
1745-55; < Latin spasticus afflicted with spasms < Greek spastikós of a spasm, equivalent to spas-, stem of spân to pull off, pluck, convulse + -tikos -tic
Related forms
spastically, adverb
[spa-stis-i-tee] /spæˈstɪs ɪ ti/ (Show IPA),
Usage note
The slang use of spastic (or spaz) to mean “clumsy” is perceived as insulting to people who are affected with muscular spasms. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for spastic
  • Botulinum toxin can be injected into the spastic muscles.
  • Working harder to catch your tale makes you spastic.
  • The reason this moves slowly is that the solution has to be based on facts and not spastic rumor mongering.
  • They'd inevitably portray the player as a spastic in mid-seizure, flailing away on a joystick while jumping and twitching.
  • The results were spastic and scattered, but also provocative and occasionally mesmerising.
  • It looks as if he's a prisoner inside his own spastic colon.
  • Their ultimate diagnosis was spastic colitis, which today would be described as irritable bowel syndrome.
  • Stretching and range-of-motion exercises are used to help treat spastic muscles.
  • Surprisingly, he was not a gangly, spastic beanpole.
  • But the real star is the stop-motion animation itself, beautiful to look at and executed with a deliberately spastic wit.
British Dictionary definitions for spastic


/ˈspæstɪk; spæsˈtɪsɪtɪ/
an old-fashioned and now offensive name for a person who has cerebral palsy
(taboo, slang) a clumsy, incapable, or incompetent person
affected by or resembling spasms
(taboo, slang) clumsy, incapable or incompetent
Derived Forms
spastically, adverb
spasticity, noun
Word Origin
C18: from Latin spasticus, from Greek spastikos, from 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 spastic

1753, from Latin spasticus, from Greek spastikos "afflicted with spasms," literally "drawing, pulling," from span "draw up" (see spasm). The noun meaning "a person affected with spastic paralysis" is attested from 1896.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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spastic in Medicine

spastic spas·tic (spās'tĭk)

  1. Relating to or affected by spasm.

  2. Relating to spastic paralysis.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang definitions & phrases for spastic



A gem, esp a diamond (1822+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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