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spasmodic (adj.)

1680s, from French spasmodique, from Medieval Latin spasmodicus, from Greek spasmodes "of the nature of a spasm," from spasmos (see spasm) + -odes "like" (see -oid). Related: Spasmodically.

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Definitions of spasmodic from WordNet

spasmodic (adj.)
affected by involuntary jerky muscular contractions; resembling a spasm;
his body made a spasmodic jerk
Synonyms: convulsive / spastic
spasmodic (adj.)
occurring in spells and often abruptly;
spasmodic rifle fire
Synonyms: fitful
From wordnet.princeton.edu