Definition of paroxysm noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈpærəksɪzəm//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈpærəksɪzəm//
    paroxysm (of something)
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  1. 1a sudden strong feeling or expression of an emotion that cannot be controlled paroxysms of hate a paroxysm of laughter
  2. 2(medical) a sudden short attack of pain, causing physical shaking that cannot be controlled
  3. Word Originlate Middle English: from French paroxysme, via medieval Latin from Greek paroxusmos, from paroxunein ‘exasperate’, from para- ‘beyond’ + oxunein ‘sharpen’ (from oxus ‘sharp’).
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: paroxysm