con·​vul·​sive | \ kən-ˈvəl-siv How to pronounce convulsive (audio) \

Definition of convulsive

1a : 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

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Other Words from convulsive

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

To me, there was something convulsive about playing for five-plus and then deciding it all with a conventional first-to-seven, win-by-two tiebreak. Jon Wertheim,, "Mailbag: In Defense of the WTA's Age Eligibility Rule," 31 July 2019 Jean drifts through the film in a convulsive trance of intensity that’s a whisper away from traumatized. Nick Romano,, "'Dark Phoenix' reviews: At least it's better than X-Men: Apocalypse…?," 5 June 2019 Sensing irritation in your nasal passages, your body releases special brain-signaling chemicals that then trigger a convulsive expulsion of air out of the nose and mouth at more than 30 miles per hour. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "It’s 2019: How Are People Still Not Sneezing the Right Way?!?," 8 Feb. 2019 At the median, convulsive seizures dropped by 63 percent in the Dravet patients given ZX008 compared with a 1 percent reduction in placebo patients. Adam Feuerstein, STAT, "Zogenix to submit anti-seizure drug for approval after clinical trial confirms benefit," 12 July 2018 But for much of the past century Iran has been locked in a convulsive struggle between rulers wanting to maintain their prerogatives and the ruled seeking freedom. Reuel Marc Gerecht And, WSJ, "Don’t Fear Regime Change in Iran," 11 June 2018 The rate of these changes from an ecologist's point of view is convulsive. Matt Simon, WIRED, "Inconvenient Minifauna and the Invasion of the Hammerhead Flatworms," 25 May 2018 While the various cases have yet to go to trial, the scandal has already endured its share of convulsive and strange twists. Jake Fischer And Jon Wertheim,, "Could a Rogue FBI Agent Derail the NCAA Corruption Probe?," 23 May 2018 But by the summer of 1979, Rodney Dangerfield was on an incredible run of volcanic guest appearances on The Tonight Show, often reducing Johnny Carson to a slumped, convulsive fool, wiping tears from his eyes. Chris Nashawaty,, "Inside the Caddyshack Scene That Squashed the Bill Murray-Chevy Chase Beef," 17 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'convulsive.' 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 convulsive

1615, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Statistics for convulsive

Last Updated

11 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for convulsive

The first known use of convulsive was in 1615

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English Language Learners Definition of convulsive

: involving or causing a sudden violent shaking of the muscles in your body that you are unable to control
: causing the entire body to shake


con·​vul·​sive | \ kən-ˈvəl-siv How to pronounce convulsive (audio) \

Kids Definition of convulsive

: causing or marked by violent, frantic, or jerky movement By convulsive efforts he got on his feet, staggered, and fell.— Jack London, The Call of the Wild

Other Words from convulsive

convulsively adverb


con·​vul·​sive | \ kən-ˈvəl-siv How to pronounce convulsive (audio) \

Medical Definition of convulsive

1 : constituting or producing a convulsion convulsive disorders
2 : caused by or affected with convulsions convulsive motions a convulsive patient

Other Words from convulsive

convulsively adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on convulsive

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with convulsive

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for convulsive

Spanish Central: Translation of convulsive

Nglish: Translation of convulsive for Spanish Speakers

Comments on convulsive

What made you want to look up convulsive? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


recurring in steady succession

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