Definition of convulsant in English:



  • (chiefly of drugs) producing sudden and involuntary muscle contractions.

    • ‘Some users, however, report that they become more sensitive to cocaine's anesthetic and convulsant effects even without increasing the amount.’
    • ‘Experimental studies have confirmed that folates are highly convulsant if the blood-brain barrier is circumvented.’
    • ‘This is done by the psychiatric profession under the medical term ‘ECT’ (electro convulsant therapy).’


  • A convulsant drug.

    • ‘Other herbal extracts, essence of sage which contains camphor, a well-known convulsant, and essence of hysop which contains pinocamphone, a neurotoxin, are commonly encountered ‘natural remedies.’’
    • ‘Seizures could be nonepileptic if evoked in the normal brain by treatments, such as electric shock or chemical convulsants, or epileptic when occurring without evident provocation.’
    • ‘The toxic ingredients are of various types, ranging from local irritants to convulsants, hallucinogens, and neurotoxins (nerve poisons).’


Late 19th century: from French, from convulser, from Latin convuls- pulled violently, wrenched, from the verb convellere (see convulse).