Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Relating to, affected by, or having the character of a spasm; convulsive.
  • adj. Happening intermittently; fitful: spasmodic rifle fire.
  • adj. Given to sudden outbursts of energy or feeling; excitable.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of or relating to a spasm; resembling a sudden contraction of the muscles.
  • adj. Convulsive; consisting of spasms.
  • adj. Intermittent or fitful; occurring in abrupt bursts.
  • adj. Erratic or unsustained.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining to spasm; consisting in spasm; occuring in, or characterized by, spasms.
  • adj. Soon relaxed or exhausted; convulsive; intermittent.
  • n. A medicine for spasm.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Pertaining to, of the nature of, or characterized by spasm; affected by spasm or spasms; convulsive: as, spasmodic movements; spasmodic asthma; a spasmodic person.
  • Attended by or manifesting procedure by fits and starts; jerky; overstrained; high-strung; rhapsodical: as, spasmodic action or efforts; spasmodic utterance or literature.
  • n. Same as antispasmodic.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. affected by involuntary jerky muscular contractions; resembling a spasm
  • adj. occurring in spells and often abruptly

Etymologies

New Latin spasmōdicus, from Greek spasmōdēs, from spasmos, spasm; see spasm.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From New Latin spasmodicus, from Ancient Greek σπασμώδης (spasmōdēs, "spasmodic"), from σπασμός (spasmos, "spasm"). (Wiktionary)

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