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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

Examples of spastic in a Sentence

Adjective even after the formal surrender, spastic violence erupted in scattered quarters of the city
Recent Examples on the Web
Like, ‘My sporadic, spastic, impulsive, potentially treacherous ideas? Alex Morris, Rolling Stone, 22 Feb. 2024 Walker was diagnosed with a rare form of cerebral palsy (spastic diplegia) at 18 months, forcing him to wear leg braces throughout his childhood. Mckinley Franklin, Variety, 13 Sep. 2023 The experts there diagnosed the problem as spastic cerebral palsy, which affects muscle tone, movement, and coordination. Robb Report Studio, Robb Report, 31 July 2023 All five of the eligible American children with spastic paraplegia 50, a slowly progressing neurodegenerative disorder, will be included in the trials. Karen Weintraub, USA TODAY, 24 May 2023 The results: Lilly has a rare genetic disease called hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP) that impacts her mobility, causing abnormal tone, stiffness and paralysis in the muscles of her legs. Dana Hedgpeth, Washington Post, 19 Mar. 2023 Maginn: The Ugly Organ has the same spastic, odd, eclectic sound that often came from Tim’s writing — even in his bands before Cursive. Josh Chesler, SPIN, 4 Mar. 2023 Each dispatch evokes the handmade feel of the zine era, or the early-two-thousands blog era after that—from the newsletter’s luridly Photoshopped collages, crammed with clip art, to a spastic writing voice that careens down the page in a stream of florid, hypebeast doggerel. Nathan Taylor Pemberton, The New Yorker, 10 Dec. 2021 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

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'spastic.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 15 Jun. 2024.

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

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