Paroxysm definition

părək-sĭzəm
Frequency:
A sudden outburst of emotion or action.

A paroxysm of laughter.

noun
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The definition of a paroxysm is a sudden attack that happens periodically from a disease or illness.

An example of a paroxysm is an asthma attack.

noun
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The definition of a paroxysm is a sudden physical response including laughing or sneezing.

An example of a paroxysm is a laughing fit brought on by nervousness.

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A sudden attack, recurrence, or intensification of a disease.
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A spasm or fit; a convulsion.
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A sudden attack, or intensification of the symptoms, of a disease, usually recurring periodically.
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A sudden outburst as of laughter, rage, or sneezing; fit; spasm.
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A sudden outburst of emotion or action.

A paroxysm of laughter.

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A sudden attack, recurrence, or intensification of a disease.
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A spasm or fit; a convulsion.
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A random or sudden outburst (of activity).
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An explosive event during a volcanic eruption.
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A sudden recurrence of a disease.
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
paroxysm
Plural:
paroxysms

Origin of paroxysm

  • Middle English paroxism periodic attack of a disease from Medieval Latin paroxysmus from Greek paroxusmos from paroxūnein to stimulate, irritate para- intensive pref. para–1 oxūnein to goad, sharpen (from oxus sharp ak- in Indo-European roots)

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From French paroxysme, from Medieval Latin paroxysmus, from Ancient Greek παροξυσμός (paroksusmos, “irritation, the severe fit of a disease"), from παροξύνειν (paroksunein, “to sharpen, irritate"), from παρά (pará) + ὀξύνειν (oksunein, “sharpen"), from ὀξύς (oksus, “sharp").

    From Wiktionary