follow Dictionary.com

Word of the Day
Friday, October 05, 2007

Definitions for paroxysm

  1. (Medicine) A sudden attack, intensification, or recurrence of a disease.
  2. Any sudden and violent emotion or action; an outburst; a fit.

Learn something
new every day


GET OUR


Thank youfor signing up
Get the Word of the Day Email
Citations for paroxysm
But when he's on target -- and more often than not he is -- he can send you into paroxysms of laughter. William Triplett, Washington Post
Dickens had a paroxysm of rage: 'Bounding up from his chair, and throwing his knife and fork on his plate (which he smashed to atoms), he exclaimed: "Dolby! your infernal caution will be your ruin one of these days!"' Edmund Wilson, The Atlantic
Origin of paroxysm
1570-1580
Paroxysm is from Greek paroxusmos, from paroxunein, "to irritate, provoke or excite (literally to sharpen excessively)," from para-, "beyond" + oxunein, "to sharpen, to provoke."