convulsive

adjective

con·​vul·​sive kən-ˈvəl-siv How to pronounce convulsive (audio)
1
a
: constituting or producing a convulsion
b
: caused by or affected with convulsions
2
: resembling a convulsion in being violent, sudden, frantic, or spasmodic
convulsive laughter
convulsively adverb
convulsiveness noun
Choose the Right Synonym for convulsive

fitful, spasmodic, convulsive mean lacking steadiness or regularity in movement.

fitful implies intermittence, a succession of starts and stops or risings and fallings.

fitful sleep

spasmodic adds to fitful the implication of rapid or violent activity alternating with inactivity.

spasmodic growth

convulsive suggests the breaking of regularity or quiet by uncontrolled movement.

convulsive shocks

Examples of convulsive in a Sentence

the assassination of Martin Luther King was one of the most convulsive events of the 1960s after a day of convulsive trading, the stock market was down 300 points
Recent Examples on the Web But the sight of him in it reduces his mother to convulsive sobs. Colin Thubron, The New York Review of Books, 19 Jan. 2023 The third anniversary of the Jan. 6 attack comes during the most convulsive period in American politics in at least a generation, with Congress barely able to keep up with the basics of governing, and the start of the presidential nominating contests just over a week away. Lisa Mascaro, Twin Cities, 6 Jan. 2024 But recent developments are starting to change that equation, most of them stemming in some way from the convulsive effects of climate change. Bill McKibben, The New Yorker, 20 Nov. 2023 If not beautiful, Varo’s escape from the violent chaos of Europe, via Morocco, was certainly convulsive and surely traumatic. Sebastian Smee, Washington Post, 11 Oct. 2023 In other words, a convulsive episode is not a definitive indication of epilepsy. Diana Apetauerova, Verywell Health, 24 July 2023 In this case, the person is experiencing something known as status epilepticus, of which there are two types: convulsive status epilepticus and non-convulsive status epilepticus, the Epilepsy Foundation says. Patti Greco, Health.com, 9 Nov. 2021 In the case of convulsive status epilepticus, medical treatment must be started as soon as possible—typically through oxygen, intravenous fluids, medications, and continuous EEG (electroencephalogram) monitoring. Patti Greco, Health.com, 9 Nov. 2021 The last few years have been historically convulsive ones for education in America. Jonathan Mahler, New York Times, 28 Apr. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'convulsive.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1615, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of convulsive was in 1615

Dictionary Entries Near convulsive

Cite this Entry

“Convulsive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/convulsive. Accessed 29 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

convulsive

adjective
con·​vul·​sive -ˈvəl-siv How to pronounce convulsive (audio)
1
a
: being or producing a convulsion
b
: caused by or having convulsions
2
: resembling a convulsion especially in being sudden or violent
convulsively adverb

Medical Definition

convulsive

adjective
con·​vul·​sive kən-ˈvəl-siv How to pronounce convulsive (audio)
1
: constituting or producing a convulsion
convulsive disorders
2
: caused by or affected with convulsions
convulsive motions
a convulsive patient
convulsively adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on convulsive

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