from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A sudden, involuntary contraction of a muscle or group of muscles.
- n. A sudden burst of energy, activity, or emotion.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A sudden, involuntary contraction of a muscle, a group of muscles, or a hollow organ.
- n. A violent, excruciating seizure of pain.
- n. A sudden and temporary burst of energy, activity, or emotion.
- v. To produce and undergo a spasm.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. An involuntary and unnatural contraction of one or more muscles or muscular fibers.
- n. A sudden, violent, and temporary effort or emotion.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Excessive muscular contraction.
- n. In general, any sudden transitory movement of a convulsive character, voluntary or involuntary; an abnormally energetic action or phase of feeling; a wrenching strain or effort: as, a spasm of industry, of grief, of fright, etc.; a spasm of pain or of coughing.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a painful and involuntary muscular contraction
- n. (pathology) sudden constriction of a hollow organ (as a blood vessel)
Middle English spasme, from Old French, from Latin spasmus, from Greek spasmos, from spān, to pull.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French spasme, from Latin spasmus, from Ancient Greek σπασμός (spasmos, "spasm, convulsion"). Compare span. (Wiktionary)