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

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 Rafael, once a physician, moves into a Catholic retirement community following his wife's death and gains two sidekicks: the former soap opera heartthrob Pablo and the spastic, stridently wacky Anselmo. Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader, "The wall’s gonna fall at the Chicago Latino Film Festival," 5 Apr. 2018 She was diagnosed with spastic diplegia cerebral palsy at age 1, according to the family's YouCaring page. Sarah Klein,, "This Video of a 4-Year-Old With Cerebral Palsy Walking on Her Own for the First Time Will Make Your Day," 6 July 2018 By late 1982, thanks in part to the onset of the Reagan-era economic boom, a period of reckless, almost spastic, buying had begun in earnest. Stephen Metcalf, The Atlantic, "Jean-Michel Basquiat Is Still an Enigma," 24 June 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

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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

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