• WordNet 3.6
    • v convulse be overcome with laughter
    • v convulse make someone convulse with laughter "The comedian convulsed the crowd"
    • v convulse contract involuntarily, as in a spasm "The muscles in her face convulsed"
    • v convulse cause to contract "The spasm convulses her facial muscles"
    • v convulse shake uncontrollably "earthquakes convulsed the countryside"
    • v convulse move or stir about violently "The feverish patient thrashed around in his bed"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Convulse To agitate greatly; to shake violently. "The world is convulsed by the agonies of great nations ."
    • Convulse To contract violently and irregulary, as the muscular parts of an animal body; to shake with irregular spasms, as in excessive laughter, or in agony from grief or pain. "With emotions which checked his voice and convulsed his powerful frame."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • convulse To draw or contract spasmodically or involuntarily, as the muscular parts of an animal body; affect by irregular spasms: as, his whole frame was convulsed with agony.
    • convulse To shake; disturb by violent irregular action; cause great or violent agitation in.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.t Convulse kon-vuls′ to agitate violently: to affect by spasms
    • ***


  • 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. convulsus, p. p. of convellere, to tear up, to shake; con-, + vellere, to pluck, pull
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. con, inten., and vellĕre, vulsum, to pluck, to pull.


In literature:

Not a word yet, till this sense of convulsion and upheaval had passed away, and the mind was once more its own master.
"Robert Elsmere" by Mrs. Humphry Ward
Joe found his hands closing convulsively on a handgrip.
"Space Platform" by Murray Leinster
There was a terrific yell, a figure leaped up convulsively, and then falling, disappeared.
"The Border Watch" by Joseph A. Altsheler
She sobbed and cried more convulsively, until she began to scream and went into something like hysterics.
"In Connection with the De Willoughby Claim" by Frances Hodgson Burnett
His face was red and convulsed with excitement.
"Tongues of Conscience" by Robert Smythe Hichens
Her clasped hands trembled visibly, and her fingers clutched them with a convulsive movement.
"A Son of Hagar" by Sir Hall Caine
His hands opened and shut convulsively.
"Casa Braccio, Volumes 1 and 2 (of 2)" by F. Marion Crawford
Then the mother came nearer tottering, and sank down before the form of the old man, while she embraced his knee in convulsive grief.
"The Old Man of the Mountain, The Lovecharm and Pietro of Abano" by Ludwig Tieck
With levity he treats the apprehension of a coming convulsion, and laughs at the fears of the natives.
"Travels in Peru, on the Coast, in the Sierra, Across the Cordilleras and the Andes, into the Primeval Forests" by J. J. von Tschudi
This is also the best remedy in convulsions.
"Alcohol: A Dangerous and Unnecessary Medicine, How and Why" by Martha M. Allen

In poetry:

And round the baby fast and firm
Her trembling arms she folds,
And with a strong convulsive grasp
The little infant holds.
"Rudiger - A Ballad" by Robert Southey
O'er her infant's couch of death,
Bent a widowed mother low;
And the quick, convulsive breath
Marked the inward weight of woe.
"The Maniac" by Mary Gardiner Horsford
the city tumbles towards autumn
in a convulsion of tourists
and teachers. We dance in the dark,
forget the anger of what we blame
"Ann Arbor Variations" by Frank O Hara
Then the red knife, with blood imbru'd,
Of innocence, she press'd;
Its fatal point convulsive view'd,
And sheath'd it in her breast.
"The Lass Of Fair Wone" by Charlotte Dacre
Mark her breast's convulsive throbs!
See, the tear of anguish flows!—
Mingling soon with bursting sobs,
Loud the laugh of frenzy rose.
"Frederick and Alice" by Sir Walter Scott
Nor shall the dear remembrance die
While aught of life to me is given;
But soothe my last convulsive sigh,
And be, till then, my joy….my heaven!
"Secret Love" by Amelia Opie

In news:

November's election will either be a prelude to a convulsion or the beginning of a turn away from one.
November's election will either be a prelude to a. Convulsion or the beginning of a turn away from one.
WASHINGTON — Elections supposedly prevent convulsions, serving as safety valves that vent social pressures and enable course corrections.
Lead dust from a mine causes convulsions, comas and death.
The results produced a myriad of emotions ranging from convulsive joy in some to severe depression in others.
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.
According to the late Harold Isaacs, author of I dols of the Tribe, today we are witnessing a "convulsive ingathering" of nations.
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.
This time of convulsion is the subject of J. G Farrell's The Siege of Krishnapur, widely considered one of the finest British novels of the last fifty years.
The national convulsion over Amy Chua's parenting has lead people to hate or fear mothers like me.
Wolfowitz on the Convulsions in Egypt.

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