tonic spasm

tonic spasm

noun Medicine/Medical.
See under spasm ( def 1 ).

1825–35 Unabridged


Pathology. a sudden, abnormal, involuntary muscular contraction, consisting of a continued muscular contraction (tonic spasm) or of a series of alternating muscular contractions and relaxations (clonic spasm)
any sudden, brief spell of great energy, activity, feeling, etc.

1350–1400; Middle English spasme < Latin spasmus < Greek spasmós convulsion, derivative of spân to draw a sword or cord, wrench (off), convulse

2. fit, storm, flash, spurt. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To tonic spasm
World English Dictionary
spasm (ˈspæzəm)
1.  an involuntary muscular contraction, esp one resulting in cramp or convulsion
2.  a sudden burst of activity, emotion, etc
[C14: from Latin spasmus, from Greek spasmos a cramp, from span to tear]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

c.1400, from O.Fr. spasme, from L. spasmus "a spasm," from Gk. spasmos "a spasm, convulsion," from span "draw up, tear away, contract violently, pull," from PIE *spe- "stretch." Fig. sense of "a sudden convulsion" (of emotion, politics, etc.) is attested from 1817. The verb is recorded from 1900.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

spasm (spāz'əm)

  1. A sudden involuntary contraction of a muscle or group of muscles.

  2. A muscle spasm.

tonic spasm n.
A continuous involuntary muscular contraction. Also called entasia.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature