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



    BrE BrE//ˈspæzəm//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈspæzəm//
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  1. 1[countable, uncountable] a sudden and often painful contracting of a muscle, which you cannot control a muscle spasm The injection sent his leg into spasm.
  2. 2[countable] spasm (of something) a sudden strong feeling or reaction that lasts for a short time a spasm of anxiety/anger/coughing/pain, etc.
  3. Word Originlate Middle English: from Old French spasme, or via Latin from Greek spasmos, spasma, from span ‘pull’.Extra examples He kicked the chair in a spasm of impatience. He suffered a back spasm while playing football. She could not speak; her throat was in spasm. The muscle goes into spasm, producing the symptom of cramp. involuntary spasms of the nervous system Cholera reduces heartbeat and causes muscle spasms. His face went into a spasm of nervous twitches. His voice broke and a spasm of pain contorted his face. The injection sent his leg into spasm.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: spasm