Etymology
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convulse (v.)

1640s, "to shake or disturb by violent, irregular action" (transitive); 1680s, "to draw or contract spasmodically or involuntarily" (intransitive); from Latin convulsus, past participle of convellere (transitive only) "to pull away, to pull this way and that, wrench," hence "to weaken, overthrow, destroy," from assimilated form of com "with, together" (see con-) + vellere "to pluck, pull violently" (see svelte). Related: Convulsed (1630s); convulsing.

updated on March 20, 2018

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Definitions of convulse from WordNet

convulse (v.)
make someone convulse with laughter;
The comedian convulsed the crowd
convulse (v.)
be overcome with laughter;
convulse (v.)
move or stir about violently;
Synonyms: thresh / thresh about / thrash / thrash about / slash / toss / jactitate
convulse (v.)
shake uncontrollably;
earthquakes convulsed the countryside
convulse (v.)
cause to contract;
The spasm convulses her facial muscles
convulse (v.)
contract involuntarily, as in a spasm;
The muscles in her face convulsed
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.