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spas·​tic ˈspa-stik How to pronounce spastic (audio)
: of, relating to, characterized by, or affected with or as if with spasm
a spastic patient
: characterized by hypertonic muscles
spastic cerebral palsy
: spasmodic sense 2
a spastic influx of data
spastically adverb


2 of 2


: an individual suffering from spastic paralysis

Example Sentences

Adjective even after the formal surrender, spastic violence erupted in scattered quarters of the city
Recent Examples on the Web
Pastrnak glided in on his forehand, touched the puck to shooting position, and at the hash marks, made a spastic pump fake of a high-glove shot that forced Islanders goalie Semyon Varlamov to recoil. Globe Staff,, 14 Dec. 2022 Disability advocate Hannah Diviney, who has a form of cerebral palsy classified as spastic diplegia, was among those who took to social media to tag Lizzo and criticize the initial lyric. Vulture, 13 June 2022 Fast and jittery — even spastic at times — his solos were a unique collision of punk, blues and speed-metal. Dallas News, 25 May 2022 Hemiplegic migraine, seizures, progressive spastic paraparesis, mood disorder, and coma in siblings with low systemic serotonin. Neuroskeptic, Discover Magazine, 22 Oct. 2011 My parents have always been avid voters, because my brother has spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy and relies on social services. Dolores Hernandez, CNN, 11 Nov. 2022 Disability advocates say the word is offensive to people with spastic diplegia, a condition that causes muscle stiffness. Alyssa Lukpat, WSJ, 27 Oct. 2022 On Monday afternoon, a spastic red squirrel furrowed and tugged at a wet blanket draped over the rain fly of a red single-person tent ringed with empty containers. Zachariah Hughes, Anchorage Daily News, 20 Oct. 2022 After all, this is the guy who spent the pandemic throwing up thirst traps on Instagram and documenting the recording of his latest album, Charlie, with spastic, random videos on TikTok and Reels. Tim Chan, Rolling Stone, 7 Oct. 2022 See More

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.

Word History



Latin spasticus, from Greek spastikos drawing in, from span

First Known Use


1753, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1896, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of spastic was in 1753

Dictionary Entries Near spastic

Cite this Entry

“Spastic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition


: of, relating to, characterized by, or affected with or as if with spasms
spastic colon

Medical Definition


1 of 2 adjective
spas·​tic ˈspas-tik How to pronounce spastic (audio)
: of, relating to, or characterized by spasm
: affected with or marked by spasticity or spastic paralysis
a spastic patient
spastic hemiplegia
spastically adverb


2 of 2 noun
: an individual affected by spastic paralysis

More from Merriam-Webster on spastic

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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