• WordNet 3.6
    • n convulsion a physical disturbance such as an earthquake or upheaval
    • n convulsion a violent disturbance "the convulsions of the stock market"
    • n convulsion violent uncontrollable contractions of muscles
    • n convulsion a sudden uncontrollable attack "a paroxysm of giggling","a fit of coughing","convulsions of laughter"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Convulsion (Med) An unnatural, violent, and unvoluntary contraction of the muscular parts of an animal body.
    • Convulsion Any violent and irregular motion or agitation; a violent shaking; a tumult; a commotion. "Those two massy pillars,
      With horrible convulsion , to and fro
      He tugged, he shook, till down they came."
      "Times of violence and convulsion ."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n convulsion A violent and involuntary contraction of the muscular parts of an animal body, with alternate relaxation; a fit. Infants are frequently affected with convulsions, the body undergoing violent spasmodic contractions, and feeling and voluntary motion ceasing for the time being.
    • n convulsion Any violent and irregular motion; turmoil; tumult; commotion.
    • n convulsion Specifically, in geology, a sudden and violent disturbance and change of position of the strata; a geological event taking place rapidly and at one impulse, instead of slowly and by repeated efforts: nearly the same as catastrophe or cataclysm. Violent voluntary muscular effort.
    • n convulsion Same as laryngismus stridulus.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Convulsion any involuntary contraction of the voluntary muscles of the body, esp. such seizures in which the body is thrown into violent spasmodic contractions, the sensibility and voluntary motion being for a time suspended: any violent disturbance
    • ***


  • Andre Breton
    “Beauty will be convulsive or will not be at all.”
  • Groucho Marx
    “From the moment I picked your book up until I laid it down I was convulsed with laughter. Some day I intend reading it.”
  • Alexander Pope
    “Our passions are like convulsion fits, which, though they make us stronger for a time, leave us the weaker ever after.”
  • Emily Dickinson
    “I like a look of Agony, because I know it's true -- men do not sham Convulsion, nor simulate, a Throe --”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. convulsio,: cf. F. convulsion,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. con, inten., and vellĕre, vulsum, to pluck, to pull.


In literature:

At the head of the stairs swarmed the plebes, who were convulsed with laughter.
"Frank Merriwell's Chums" by Burt L. Standish
As for Itzig, he was clenching his fist convulsively, and unconsciously tearing the curtain down from the pole.
"Debit and Credit" by Gustav Freytag
When the two combatants measured their swords for the distance, that of Giannetto Rutolo shook convulsively.
"The Child of Pleasure" by Gabriele D'Annunzio
The animal may stamp the ground, rear in the air, run and finally go into convulsions and die.
"The Veterinarian" by Chas. J. Korinek
A few more convulsive quivers, as a serpent might writhe and jerk, then he hung, a limp dead thing, in my hands.
"The Black Wolf's Breed" by Harris Dickson
Convulsions are never the symptoms of teething.
"The Mother and Her Child" by William S. Sadler
A convulsive sobbing shook her entire being.
"The Easiest Way" by Eugene Walter and Arthur Hornblow
A very young infant may have a convulsion.
"The Eugenic Marriage, Volume IV. (of IV.)" by Grant Hague
Mary tottered to where Tom stood, and fell into his arms in a fit of convulsions.
"Jacob Faithful" by Captain Frederick Marryat
Her arms, her hands, her feet, shook and twitched convulsively, and consciousness returned to her.
"The works of Guy de Maupassant, Vol. 5 (of 8)" by Guy de Maupassant 1850-1893

In poetry:

Twenty miles away thy sound
Travels from the gulf profound
Of thine earth-convulsing bound,
"Mosi-Oa-Tunya" by Roden Berkeley Wriothesley Noel
the past lapping them like a cloak of chaos. They were men
who, I thought, lived only to
renew the wasteful force they
spent with each hot convulsion.
They remind me, distant now.
"My Sad Captains" by Thom Gunn
Adown the side she slanting rolled,
But her two arms convulsive hold
The precious baby tight;
She lets herself sublimely go,
And in the ditch's muddy flow
Stands up, in evil plight.
"The Child-Mother" by George MacDonald
Required it at their need, she could have stood,
Unmoved, as some fair-sculptured statue, while
The dome that guards it earth's convulsions rude
Are shivering, meeting ruin with a smile.
"Description Of Egla" by Maria Gowen Brooks
Of Madness, see the tortur'd child,
First shedding tears, then laughing wild,
And then convulsive groan:
Then comes Despair, with wide-stretch'd eye,
Tearing the soul with agony;
Or hear the harrowing moan.
"Madness" by Charlotte Dacre
Ere yet her pale lips could the story impart,
For a moment the hat met her view;—
Her eyes from that object convulsively start,
For—oh God what cold horror then thrill'd thro' her heart,
When the name of her Richard she knew!
"Mary - A Ballad" by Robert Southey

In news:

They were convulsing by the time he rushed to the pasture.
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE Warnings are posted for visitors to South Lake Tahoe areas after a convulsing chipmunk was diagnosed with the plague.
Tau Epsilon Phi, Founded 100 Years Ago at Columbia, Is Convulsed by a Lawsuit.
'Dangers of Invasion from without and Convulsions within'.
The results produced a myriad of emotions ranging from convulsive joy in some to severe depression in others.
For the second time in little more than a decade, metro Denver has been convulsed by a mass murder of calculated and methodical viciousness, an act so pointless and incomprehensible that it leaves us all shaken and bewildered.
AUSTIN, Texas—Within a small rectangle of light, nearly a dozen dancers writhed and convulsed on the stage, pressed together by imaginary walls denoting some kind of death chamber.
Within a small rectangle of light, nearly a dozen dancers writhed and convulsed on the stage, pressed together by imaginary walls denoting some kind of death chamber.
She's Convulsing' And 'She Smoked Something.
But back home, the violence convulsing Israel and the Palestinian territories is taking distinct second place to a national debate about mediocre governance.
Revelations last July about widespread illegal phone hacking at one of Murdoch 's British tabloids convulsed his media empire, exposed the close ties between the upper echelons of Britain's establishment and provoked a wave of public anger.
According to the late Harold Isaacs, author of I dols of the Tribe, today we are witnessing a "convulsive ingathering" of nations.
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE Warnings are posted for visitors to South Lake Tahoe areas after a convulsing chipmunk was diagnosed with the plague .
Lena Pet­ters­son said the man was hav­ing con­vul­sions before the Kenya Air­ways flight departed from Ams­ter­dam, the Nether­lands.
Apparently, the rapper boarded a flight from Texas to Los Angeles when he suddenly began to have seizure-like convulsions.

In science:

Brain Res. 804, 212-223. Heggli, D. E., Malthe-Sörenssen, D., 1982. Systemic injection of kainic acid: effect on neurotransmitter markers in piriform cortex, amygdaloid complex and hippocampus and protection by cortical lesioning and anti-convulsants.
Nimesulide limits kainate-induced oxidative damage in the rat hippocampus