spasmodic

adjective spas·mod·ic \ spaz-ˈmä-dik \

Definition of spasmodic

1 a :relating to or affected or characterized by spasm
b :resembling a spasm especially in sudden violence
  • a spasmodic jerk
2 :acting or proceeding fitfully :intermittent
  • spasmodic activity
3 :subject to outbursts of emotional excitement :excitable

spasmodically

play \spaz-ˈmä-di-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Examples of spasmodic in a Sentence

  1. He made only spasmodic attempts to lose weight.

  2. spasmodic problems that we will have to deal with as they crop up

Recent Examples of spasmodic from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of spasmodic

New Latin spasmodicus, from Greek spasmōdēs, from spasmos

Synonym Discussion of spasmodic

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

SPASMODIC Defined for English Language Learners

spasmodic

adjective

Definition of spasmodic for English Language Learners

  • : relating to or caused by a spasm

  • : happening suddenly and briefly at different times in a way that is not regular


SPASMODIC Defined for Kids

spasmodic

adjective spas·mod·ic \ spaz-ˈmä-dik \

Definition of spasmodic for Students

:relating to or affected by spasm :involving spasms
  • spasmodic jerking

spasmodically

\-di-kə-lē\ adverb

Medical Dictionary

spasmodic

adjective spas·mod·ic \ spaz-ˈmäd-ik \

medical Definition of spasmodic

:of, relating to, characterized by, or resulting from spasm
  • a spasmodic twitching
  • a spasmodic cough

spasmodically

play \-i-k(ə-)lē\ adverb


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

to buzz or drone

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!