Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Topic: BIOLOGY

Date: 1300-1400
Language: Old French
Origin: spasme, from Latin, from Greek spasmos, from span 'to pull'

spasm

noun
     
spas‧m
1HB [uncountable and countable] an occasion when your muscles suddenly become tight, causing you pain:
Maggie felt a muscle spasm in her back.
Tom's jaw muscles had gone into spasm.
2

spasm of grief/laughter/coughing etc

MI a sudden strong feeling or reaction that you have for a short period of time:
I felt a spasm of fear.
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