Synonym Chooser

How is the word convulse different from other verbs like it?

Some common synonyms of convulse are agitate, rock, and shake. While all these words mean "to move up and down or to and fro with some violence," convulse suggests a violent pulling or wrenching as of a body in a paroxysm.

spectators were convulsed with laughter

In what contexts can agitate take the place of convulse?

The synonyms agitate and convulse are sometimes interchangeable, but agitate suggests a violent and prolonged tossing or stirring.

an ocean agitated by storms

When could rock be used to replace convulse?

In some situations, the words rock and convulse are roughly equivalent. However, rock suggests a swinging or swaying motion resulting from violent impact or upheaval.

the whole city was rocked by the explosion

Where would shake be a reasonable alternative to convulse?

While the synonyms shake and convulse are close in meaning, shake often carries a further implication of a particular purpose.

shake well before using

Thesaurus Entries Near convulse

Cite this Entry

“Convulse.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on convulse

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