Etymology
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spasm (n.)

late 14c., "sudden violent muscular contraction," from Old French spasme (13c.) and directly from Latin spasmus "a spasm," from Greek spasmos "a spasm, convulsion; wincing; violent movement," from span "draw (a sword, etc.), pull out, pluck; tear away, drag; suck in; slurp down; contract violently," which is perhaps from a PIE *(s)peh- "to draw, set in motion (violently)," hence "to stretch." The figurative sense of "a sudden convulsion" (of emotion, politics, etc.) is attested by 1817.

spasm (v.)

1900, from spasm (n.). Related: Spasmed; spasming.

updated on June 15, 2022

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Definitions of spasm from WordNet

spasm (n.)
a painful and involuntary muscular contraction;
Synonyms: cramp / muscle spasm
spasm (n.)
(pathology) sudden constriction of a hollow organ (as a blood vessel);
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.