spasm

noun \ ˈspa-zəm \

Definition of spasm

1 :an involuntary and abnormal muscular contraction
2 :a sudden violent and temporary effort, emotion, or sensation
  • a spasm of creativity
  • spasms of pain

spasm

intransitive verb

Examples of spasm in a Sentence

  1. a disease that causes muscle spasms

  2. He was racked with coughing spasms.

  3. She was suffering spasms of guilt.

Recent Examples of spasm from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of spasm

Middle English spasme, from Anglo-French espasme, from Latin spasmus, from Greek spasmos, from span to draw, pull

spasm Synonyms


SPASM Defined for English Language Learners

spasm

noun

Definition of spasm for English Language Learners

  • : a sudden uncontrolled and often painful tightening of a muscle

  • : a sudden and usually brief occurrence of something you cannot control


SPASM Defined for Kids

spasm

noun \ ˈspa-zəm \

Definition of spasm for Students

1 :a sudden uncontrolled and often painful tightening of muscles
  • back spasms
2 :a sudden, strong, and temporary effort, emotion, or outburst
  • a spasm of coughing
  • a spasm of guilt

Medical Dictionary

spasm

noun \ ˈspaz-əm \

medical Definition of spasm

1 :an involuntary and abnormal contraction of muscle or muscle fibers or of a hollow organ (as an artery, the colon, or the esophagus) that consists largely of involuntary muscle fibers
2 :the state or condition of a muscle or organ affected with spasms
  • the renal artery went into spasm


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