convulse

verb
con·vulse | \kən-ˈvəls \
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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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

The fighting has become a predictable cycle of violence as the region convulses with decades-old animosities over Kashmir, where rebel groups demand that the territory be united either under Pakistani rule or as an independent country. Fox News, "India says Pakistan firing kills 4 soldiers in Kashmir," 12 June 2018 As a member of the president’s family, officials in Pyongyang judged, Mr. Kushner would have the ear of his father-in-law and be immune from the personnel changes that had convulsed the early months of the administration. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Trump team cannot get its story straight on separating migrant families," 18 June 2018 Following the attack on Saturday night, doctors in Eastern Ghouta saw patients convulsing and some who appeared to be paralyzed and unresponsive, an official with the Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations (UOSSM) told CNN. Sheena Mckenzie, Tamara Qiblawi And Fred Pleitgen, CNN, "Dozens suffocate in 'horrifying' suspected chemical attack in Syria," 8 Apr. 2018 In 1958, King Faisal II was assassinated, and Iraq was convulsed by revolution. Marcia Desanctis, Town & Country, "The Strange Saga of Trump Winery," 14 Oct. 2016 As Arab Spring protests convulsed the region in 2011, Kuwait's ruling emir, Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, ordered 1,000 dinar ($3,559) grants and free food coupons for every Kuwaiti. Hussain Al-qatari, Fox News, "Kuwait's highest court sentences lawmakers to prison," 8 July 2018 Nicaragua has been convulsed by unrest since April, when its leftist president proposed reducing pension benefits to cover a social security shortfall. NBC News, "Violence rings out at Nicaraguan church, university after nationwide strike," 14 July 2018 To keep them from seizing, convulsing, or exhibiting any other outward signs of the adverse effects of the drugs that were actually killing them. Robbie Gonzalez, WIRED, "The Untested Drugs at the Heart of Nevada's Execution Controversy," 11 July 2018 As a member of the president’s family, officials in Pyongyang judged, Mr. Kushner would have the ear of his father-in-law and be immune from the personnel changes that had convulsed the early months of the administration. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Trump team cannot get its story straight on separating migrant families," 18 June 2018

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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Statistics for convulse

Last Updated

20 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for convulse

The first known use of convulse was in 1614

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More Definitions for convulse

convulse

verb

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

: to affect (someone or something) suddenly and violently

convulse

verb
con·vulse | \kən-ˈvəls \
convulsed; convulsing

Kids Definition of convulse

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

convulse

verb
con·vulse | \kən-ˈvəls \
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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Comments on convulse

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