spas·​tic | \ ˈspa-stik How to pronounce spastic (audio) \

Definition of spastic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : of, relating to, characterized by, or affected with or as if with spasm a spastic patient
b : characterized by hypertonic muscles spastic cerebral palsy
2 : spasmodic sense 2 a spastic influx of data



Definition of spastic (Entry 2 of 2)

: one suffering from spastic paralysis

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Other Words from spastic


spastically \ ˈspa-​sti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce spastically (audio) \ adverb

Examples of spastic in a Sentence


even after the formal surrender, spastic violence erupted in scattered quarters of the city

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Ocando was born with spastic quadriplegia, a subset of cerebral palsy. Drake Hills, azcentral, "Phoenix Rising FC helps sports lawyer from Venezuela embrace new home in Tempe," 27 Aug. 2019 Given Gordon Gano's, um, unique voice, Brian Ritchie's punk riffs on acoustic bass, and Victor De Lorenzo's sparse yet spastic percussion, no one quite sounded like the Femmes on that first album, and no one's exactly sounded like them since. Piet Levy, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Violent Femmes play classic album, premiere new songs, honor Dr. John at Milwaukee homecoming," 7 June 2019 With Yoel, some signs had always been there: his precocious rolling, for example, came from spastic tensing in his muscles. Nathan Heller, The New Yorker, "The Perverse Logic of GoFundMe Health Care," 24 June 2019 Chelsea Werner, a gymnast and model with Down syndrome; Jillian Mercado, a model with spastic muscular dystrophy; and Mama Cax, a blogger, model, amputee, and disability advocate, all know this experience firsthand. Edward Lampley, Teen Vogue, "What It's Like to Be a Disabled Model in the Fashion Industry," 5 Sep. 2018 The mood lighting suddenly shifted to a spastic, woozy display of neon pinks, blues, and greens as an advertisement for the latest energy drink consumed the shuttle’s interior. Verge Staff, The Verge, "Seven scary stories to tell by the light of your screen," 31 Oct. 2018 Customers order on tablet computers; the herky-jerky hardware bartenders shake, muddle and pour to an electro-R&B soundtrack, their choreography resembling a stiff, spastic tango. WSJ, "Robot Restaurants: The Good Versus the Gimmicks," 3 Oct. 2018 That franticness is key, as the nerd character is usually portrayed as kind of spastic anyway. Kate Gardner, SELF, "Please Stop Giving All Nerdy Pop Culture Characters Asthma," 24 Aug. 2018 Mark, 47, has a spastic quadriplegia form of cerebral palsy. Crocker Stephenson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Better Angels: Both in wheelchairs, Larry and Mark stand together," 29 Jan. 2018

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


1753, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1896, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for spastic


Latin spasticus, from Greek spastikos drawing in, from span

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Statistics for spastic

Last Updated

31 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for spastic

The first known use of spastic was in 1753

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English Language Learners Definition of spastic

: relating to or affected with spasms
old-fashioned : suffering from cerebral palsy or a similar disease that causes uncontrolled movements
informal : having movements like spasms : clumsy or awkward


spas·​tic | \ ˈspas-tik How to pronounce spastic (audio) \

Medical Definition of spastic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, or characterized by spasm
2 : affected with or marked by spasticity or spastic paralysis a spastic patient spastic hemiplegia

Other Words from spastic

spastically \ -​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce spastically (audio) \ adverb



Medical Definition of spastic (Entry 2 of 2)

: an individual affected with spastic paralysis

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More from Merriam-Webster on spastic

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with spastic

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for spastic

Spanish Central: Translation of spastic

Nglish: Translation of spastic for Spanish Speakers

Comments on spastic

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authorized for issue (as a bond)

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