convulse

verb
con·​vulse | \ kən-ˈvəls How to pronounce convulse (audio) \
convulsed; convulsing

Definition of convulse

transitive verb

: to shake or agitate violently especially : to shake with or as if with irregular spasms was convulsed with laughter

intransitive verb

: to become affected with convulsions

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Synonyms for convulse

Synonyms

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Choose the Right Synonym for convulse

shake, agitate, rock, convulse mean to move up and down or to and fro with some violence. shake often carries a further implication of a particular purpose. shake well before using agitate suggests a violent and prolonged tossing or stirring. an ocean agitated by storms rock suggests a swinging or swaying motion resulting from violent impact or upheaval. the whole city was rocked by the explosion convulse suggests a violent pulling or wrenching as of a body in a paroxysm. spectators were convulsed with laughter

Examples of convulse in a Sentence

The patient reacted to the medication and began convulsing. The country was convulsed by war.
Recent Examples on the Web On April 3, 2017 an attack on Khan Sheikhoun left residents gasping for breath and convulsing in the streets and overcrowded hospitals. Yuras Karmanau, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Former rebel stronghold in Syria begins to rebuild," 25 Sep. 2019 Sudan has also been convulsed by rebellions in its far-flung provinces for decades, and the power-sharing agreement calls for the government to reach a peace agreement with the rebels within six months. Washington Post, "Sudan’s top general sworn in as leader of new ruling body," 22 Aug. 2019 At George Washington University, a student’s video — which included a graphic indicating that it was filmed on the Jewish New Year’s holiday of Rosh Hashanah — convulsed the campus earlier this year. Washington Post, "Trump’s executive order on anti-Semitism plunges into the fierce campus conflicts about Israel and Palestine," 11 Dec. 2019 The issue of migration has convulsed Europe since the influx of more than a million people in 2015 and 2016, fleeing violence and poverty in the Mideast, Afghanistan and Africa. Washington Post, "European money spawns more misery for migrants in Libya," 31 Dec. 2019 As agents were searching the plane, Juice WRLD started convulsing and went into cardiac arrest, the Chicago Tribune reported. Helen Murphy, PEOPLE.com, "Nicki Minaj Calls Juice WRLD a 'Kindred Spirit' in Emotional Speech After His Death," 13 Dec. 2019 Those talks are expected to revive many of the cross-Channel tensions in evidence since the 2016 referendum in which Britain voted to leave the European Union, convulsing the country’s politics. Stephen Castle, BostonGlobe.com, "U.K. Parliament gives Brexit green light," 9 Jan. 2020 Those talks are expected to revive many of the cross-Channel tensions in evidence since the 2016 referendum in which Britain voted to leave the European Union, convulsing the country’s politics. Stephen Castle, New York Times, "U.K. Lawmakers Give Brexit Bill the Green Light," 9 Jan. 2020 America’s campuses are convulsed by a red scare about Chinese spying and intimidation (see Briefing). The Economist, "The superpower split Don’t be fooled by the trade deal between America and China," 2 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'convulse.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of convulse

1614, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for convulse

Latin convulsus, past participle of convellere to pluck up, convulse, from com- + vellere to pluck — more at vulnerable

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Time Traveler for convulse

Time Traveler

The first known use of convulse was in 1614

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Statistics for convulse

Last Updated

7 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Convulse.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/convulse. Accessed 30 Mar. 2020.

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More Definitions for convulse

convulse

verb
How to pronounce convulse (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of convulse

medical : to have an experience in which the muscles in your body shake in a sudden violent way that you are not able to control : to experience convulsions
formal : to affect (someone or something) suddenly and violently

convulse

verb
con·​vulse | \ kən-ˈvəls How to pronounce convulse (audio) \
convulsed; convulsing

Kids Definition of convulse

: to shake violently or with jerky motions I convulsed with laughter.

convulse

verb
con·​vulse | \ kən-ˈvəls How to pronounce convulse (audio) \
convulsed; convulsing

Medical Definition of convulse

transitive verb

: to shake or agitate violently especially : to shake or cause to shake with or as if with irregular spasms was convulsed with pain

intransitive verb

: to become affected with convulsions some children will inevitably convulse when fever reaches a high point— H. R. Litchfield & L. H. Dembo

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