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 Socialist East Germany was wracked by poverty and convulsed by labor strikes in response to its new political and economic systems. Erin Blakemore, National Geographic, "Why the Berlin Wall rose—and how it fell," 8 Nov. 2019 With Chile, the other paragon of stability in South America, convulsed by riots, Uruguay looks even better. The Economist, "Uruguay’s remarkably civilised election," 25 Oct. 2019 Although the two are separated by only a few feet, the space illustrated a yawning divide and chronicled in a flash the state of a nation convulsed by impeachment, the prominence of women in politics and the 2020 election. Washington Post, "About that photo: Trump, Pelosi clash amid impeachment," 17 Oct. 2019 Benjamin Netanyahu’s gamble to hold elections for a second time this year backfired after a stunning deadlock left Israel rudderless and convulsed by a new wave of political turmoil. Amy Teibel, Fortune, "Israel’s Second Election in 5 Months Solved Nothing," 18 Sep. 2019 After decades of dictatorship under President Suharto, the country was convulsed by political, ethnic and religious unrest in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Washington Post, "Widodo begins 2nd term pledging to make Indonesia developed," 21 Oct. 2019 The gatherings, in more than half of the semiautonomous Chinese territory’s 18 districts, were the first significant unrest since Hong Kong was convulsed by violence a week earlier over opposition to a ban on face masks at public gatherings. BostonGlobe.com, "HONG KONG — A police officer was stabbed in Hong Kong on Sunday, police officials said, in what appeared to be an escalation of the street violence that has gripped the city for months, as flash-mob gatherings unfolded across town.," 14 Oct. 2019 Since its independence from British colonial rule in 1956, Sudan has been convulsed by long rebellions and fighting between the mostly Christian and animist south and the Muslim and Arabized north. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Sudanese rebel groups seek peace after years of fighting," 13 Oct. 2019 As a result, the territory has been convulsed by protests in recent months. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Blizzard bans pro Hearthstone gamer for statement supporting Hong Kong," 8 Oct. 2019

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

29 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Convulse.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/convulses. Accessed 11 December 2019.

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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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Comments on convulse

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