Definition of spasm in English:

spasm

noun

  • 1A sudden involuntary muscular contraction or convulsive movement.

    ‘shifting heavy loads without help brought on muscular back spasms’
    • ‘So much tension brought on spasms of stomach cramps.’
    • ‘She has occasional painful muscle spasms in her chest - but her consultant is confident everything is settling down well.’
    • ‘When I released her, her body convulsed with spasms of pain.’
    • ‘The reasons were unknown, but onlookers seem to agree it looked like convulsions or spasms.’
    • ‘He was shuddering uncontrollably and his body was racked with spasms.’
    • ‘Nitrates have also been shown to relieve coronary spasm.’
    • ‘Her body convulsed into spasms and the twitching got worse as the situation got worse.’
    • ‘The slightest movement would send it into spasms.’
    • ‘The spasms had subsided into shivering that came and went with some regularity.’
    • ‘Isaac's body jerked, gave a few spasms, twitched a couple times, and got up off the floor.’
    • ‘The main symptom of a slipped disc is sudden, excruciating back pain with severe back muscle spasm.’
    • ‘Her body jerked once and rigid spasms shook her.’
    • ‘The most severe cases involve intense spasms in which the muscles contract to protect the joint.’
    • ‘I was stunned by the sudden pain spasms that quaked straight through my spinal cord and nerves.’
    • ‘Frank's hands jerked in a spasm, his palms sweaty in the enclosure of his shirt.’
    • ‘The ride home was fairly uneventful, except when Nick started having a sneezing spasm, and mom totally freaked out.’
    • ‘It seemed he was having violent spasms and convulsing.’
    • ‘She was curled into a foetal position, her body jerking as fresh spasms of pain hit her.’
    • ‘Muscle cramping is a painful, involuntary muscle spasm that regularly frustrates athletes.’
    • ‘He twitched on the ground, spasms running through his body.’
    convulsion, contraction, throes, cramp
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    1. 1.1 A sudden and brief spell of an activity or sensation.
      ‘a spasm of coughing woke him’
      • ‘The man burst into a quick spasm of crude laughter and then quickly fell silent.’
      • ‘The Pritzkers can only hope that all their current troubles will be fleeting, a brief spasm rather than the beginning of a decline in their fortunes.’
      • ‘Most intriguing on these two brief noise spasms is lead singer Beverly's grating howl.’
      • ‘Swanson's hit-and-miss lyrics, combined with the spasms and outbursts of the moog keyboard, completed the bands' sound.’
      fit, paroxysm, attack, burst, bout, seizure, outburst, outbreak, explosion, access
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2mass noun Prolonged involuntary muscle contraction.
      ‘the airways in the lungs go into spasm’
      • ‘The disease is characterized by a gradual increase in skeletal muscle rigidity and muscle spasm.’
      • ‘Heat is often used after the first 24 to 48 hours to reduce pain, relieve muscle spasm, and improve local blood flow.’
      • ‘As he twisted around to glance at the television news, his back went into spasm.’

verb

[no object]
  • Experience sudden involuntary muscular contractions; twitch convulsively.

    ‘my body spasmed violently’
    • ‘Things slowly got worse, despite treatment, until my back began to spasm.’
    • ‘She abruptly crashes to the floor and begins to spasm as though having a seizure.’
    • ‘My chest begins to spasm from lack of oxygen.’
    • ‘Pain shot through his body and his legs spasmed uncontrollably.’
    • ‘In fact, my arms were spasming with cramps by the time I got home.’
    • ‘My diaphragm and lungs spasmed so severely that I woke up screaming because the pain was unbelievably excruciating!’
    • ‘Beginners are often plagued by this cramp, which strikes like a boxer's body blow and happens when an overworked diaphragm begins to spasm.’
    • ‘He began to spasm from cramps at the end of a 90-minute practice.’
    • ‘The muscles in my lower back had just spasmed.’
    • ‘My gut started spasming violently.’

Origin

Late Middle English: from Old French spasme, or via Latin from Greek spasmos, spasma, from span ‘pull’.

Pronunciation

spasm

/ˈspaz(ə)m/