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Spasm   Listen
noun
Spasm  n.  
1.
(Med.) An involuntary and unnatural contraction of one or more muscles or muscular fibers. Note: Spasm are usually either clonic or tonic. In clonic spasm, the muscles or muscular fibers contract and relax alternately in very quick succession. In tonic spasm, the contraction is steady and uniform, and continues for a comparatively long time, as in tetanus.
2.
A sudden, violent, and temporary effort or emotion; as, a spasm of repentance.
Cynic spasm (Med.) See under Cynic.
Spasm of the chest. See Angina pectoris, under Angina.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Spasm" Quotes from Famous Books



... hand on Caroline's arm; and, with an effort that cost her a spasm in her throat, she said, "You have!" Not another word could she get out; but this was enough. Caroline kissed her for the first time in her life, except at the formal partings at bed-time, and there were tears on both their faces. After a time, Caroline broke into the flood of ...
— The Two Guardians • Charlotte Mary Yonge

... with chuckles of joy, and spread them carefully within the shelter of the cave. Except for the very edges, which did not much matter, our blankets and "so-guns," protected by the canvas "tarp," were reasonably dry. Every once in a while a spasm of conscience would seize one or the ...
— Arizona Nights • Stewart Edward White

... what you are saying, Berkley"—Colonel Arran choked; turned gray; then a spasm twitched his features and he grasped the arms of his chair, staring at Berkley ...
— Ailsa Paige • Robert W. Chambers

... I from one moment to another found myself forming as to what I should see straight before me and across the lake as a consequence of raising my eyes. They were attached at this juncture to the stitching in which I was engaged, and I can feel once more the spasm of my effort not to move them till I should so have steadied myself as to be able to make up my mind what to do. There was an alien object in view—a figure whose right of presence I instantly, passionately questioned. I recollect counting ...
— The Turn of the Screw • Henry James

... fool, and worse, She was whiter than driven snow, And so one morning the universe Lost forever its sapphire glow; Across the land, and across the sea, I felt a horrible shadow crawl, A spasm of hell shot over me, Wilmur and darkness, ...
— The Harvest of Years • Martha Lewis Beckwith Ewell

... whilst every other tremor, he observes, ceases, when the voluntary exertion for moving the limb stops, or the part is supported, but returns when we will the limb to move; whence, he says, tremor is distinguished from every other kind of spasm[4]. ...
— An Essay on the Shaking Palsy • James Parkinson

... move, and seemed to herself scarce to breathe, such a spasm of various feelings was upon her heart. ...
— Say and Seal, Volume II • Susan Warner

... opened her large hazel eyes, and glanced wildly around, a quick spasm passing like an electric shock over her frame at the same instant; for the funeral scene burst upon her view, and reminded her where she was, and ...
— Wagner, the Wehr-Wolf • George W. M. Reynolds

... at his stubbornness vanished in a sudden spasm of pity. The poor fellow was scarcely more than a boy! Though I was completely in the dark as to what he was holding back and why he was doing it, yet I felt instinctively that his motives ...
— The Four Pools Mystery • Jean Webster

... cried by the watchman, far away, and then close under my window; a fearsome cry like a groan of agony uttered by a madman in a dying spasm. ...
— The Car of Destiny • C. N. Williamson and A. M. Williamson

... he was for a moment, and something like a spasm passed across his heavy features. He believed their situation to be desperate, and the vision of his home again rose before him, ...
— The Pilot and his Wife • Jonas Lie

... silence which was growing painful, she plunged into an account of one of the last escapades of her wicked room-mate, whom she pictured as a most fascinating, but a desperately reckless creature. It was funny, the way she told it, and it sent Jimmy off into a spasm of mirth. But she would almost rather have bitten her tongue out than to have caused Jimmy to explode in that wild bray of a laugh. He slapped his knee repeatedly, and doubled up as if he could laugh no longer, only to break out in a second bray, louder than the first. It made the ...
— The Little Colonel's Chum: Mary Ware • Annie Fellows Johnston

... on his haunches, thrusting his nose upward, the mouth opening and closing with jerking movements, each time opening wider. These jerking movements were in unison with the recurrent spasms that attacked the throat, each spasm severer and more intense than the preceding one. And in accord with jerks and spasms the larynx began to vibrate, at first silently, accompanied by the rush of air expelled from the lungs, then sounding a low, deep note, the lowest ...
— Love of Life - and Other Stories • Jack London

... outside, haranguing. His system was to thrill the audience with horror, till they precipitated themselves in a spasm of terror into his show. Just as when one is on a height, a nervous, uncontrollable impulse fills some men to throw themselves down out of very fear of falling, so did this great artist in horrors work up ...
— In Troubadour-Land - A Ramble in Provence and Languedoc • S. Baring-Gould

... face swept a swift spasm of pain. So quickly was it gone that I would not have noticed it, had not my eyes happened to rest on her face when Mrs. Lester spoke of her baby. Was there a child in that hectic past of hers? I decided ...
— Revelations of a Wife - The Story of a Honeymoon • Adele Garrison

... type, but seizures vary in different patients, and in the same sufferer at different times. The cry and the biting of the tongue may be absent, the first spasm brief, and the convulsions mild. Epilepsy of all kinds is characterized by an alteration (not necessarily a loss) of consciousness, followed by loss of memory for events that occurred during the time that alteration of ...
— Epilepsy, Hysteria, and Neurasthenia • Isaac G. Briggs

... my left hand. The cane sang in the air and whistled on to my open palm. A spasm of pain passed up my arm, my hand closed convulsively, my elbow drooped, and that vast array of tears made a tremendous effort to carry everything before them. But with all the strength at my command I got the better ...
— Tell England - A Study in a Generation • Ernest Raymond

... they take four deep breaths it will prove fatal: "One breath and you catch the first spasm, two and you are mad, three and you are unconscious, four and you are dead. If you keep your presence of mind and hold your breath you will have six seconds to get on your gas helmet or respirator." The attack, remember, is a surprise in the dark; brain-splitting gas shells are dropping ...
— With Our Soldiers in France • Sherwood Eddy

... tall and cannot catch his eye. It is like being at a play, watching him! All at once he sees me! Involuntarily a sudden quick spasm of joy passes across his ...
— A Student in Arms - Second Series • Donald Hankey

... that you have been—" he answered meaningly, with an amused flash of his eyes, though at the very moment a spasm of pain crossed his face, for he was suffering from incurable disease, and went about his great task in daily misery, yet cheerful ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... What would it look like, a child of hers and Franklin Kane's? How spare and poor and insignificant were his face and form. Could she love a child who had a nose like that—a neat, flat, sallow little nose? A spasm, half of laughter, half of ...
— Franklin Kane • Anne Douglas Sedgwick

... hands. The contributor assumed the risk so far as to say, "Pretty rough!" when the stranger caused; and perhaps these homely words were best suited to reach the homely heart. The man's quavering lips closed hard again, a kind of spasm passed over his dark face, and then two very small drops of brine shone upon his weather-worn cheeks. This demonstration, into which he had been surprised, seemed to stand for the passion of tears into which the emotional races fall at such times. He opened his lips ...
— Suburban Sketches • W.D. Howells

... making efforts to escape, but his iron collar held him back. The birds adapted themselves to all his movements, retreating, then striking again, scared but desperate. On one side a strange flight was attempted, on the other the pursuit of a chained man. The corpse, impelled by every spasm of the wind, had shocks, starts, fits of rage: it went, it came, it rose, it fell, driving back the scattered swarm. The dead man was a club, the swarms were dust. The fierce, assailing flock would not leave their hold, and grew ...
— The Man Who Laughs • Victor Hugo

... very night she spited and beat me till I could bear it no longer, and was on my way to my aunt's, who dwells in yonder village, when the shower came on; but as I lay waiting for the rain to stop, I was seized with a spasm, to which I am subject, and was in great pain, when I had the good luck to fall ...
— Tales of Old Japan • Algernon Bertram Freeman-Mitford

... out to the road. She did not dare hire a carriage, now that she was jobless. She wished she had not left paradise. But she dared not try to return. She was not "classy" enough. Suddenly a spasm of ...
— We Can't Have Everything • Rupert Hughes

... hot real quick! But I'm very easy cooled when de man I'm mad wid is bigger'n me. (He drops into his seat, wiping his face) Man did yo' see how he grabbed up dat check? He done skeered me into a three-week's spasm! ...
— Three Plays - Lawing and Jawing; Forty Yards; Woofing • Zora Neale Hurston

... took you by the throat, unearthly harpings of the wind along the moors; and for centre-piece to all these features and influences, John winding up the brae, keeping his captain's eye upon all sides, and breaking, ever and again, into a spasm of bellowing that seemed to make the evening bleaker. It is thus that I still see him in my mind's eye, perched on a hump of the declivity not far from Halkerside, his staff in airy flourish, his great voice taking hold upon ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson, Volume 9 • Robert Louis Stevenson

... icy spasm seemed to contract his heart, . . seized by a sudden insufferable anxiety, he stared like one spell-bound into Sah-luma's wide-open, fixed, and glassy eyes. Dead eyes! ... yet how full of mysterious significance! ...
— Ardath - The Story of a Dead Self • Marie Corelli

... hollow in the rocks where she and Violet had rested on that summer morning, and again Olga paused with her face to the sea. A curious little spasm passed across it as she looked. Far away a white sail floated over the blue, and the cries of circling gulls came to them over the water. There was no other sound but the long, long roar of ...
— The Keeper of the Door • Ethel M. Dell

... into the most elephantine convulsions of laughter that I ever heard or witnessed. For half a minute, at least, he shook and shook internally, and then exploded. An explosion was no sooner finished than the internal spasm recommenced, and so he went on until I really feared he might injure himself. After five minutes of such attack, he managed to draw out his bandanna and cover his face with it, and then, whilst we watched his figure shaking and quivering, we heard, like groans, from ...
— Captain Mugford - Our Salt and Fresh Water Tutors • W.H.G. Kingston

... remains of the golden days of the Irish Church were collected together and publicly destroyed, especially when the staff of St. Patrick, the famous Baculum Cristatum, part of which was believed to have actually touched the hands of the Saviour, was burnt in Dublin in the market-place, a spasm of shocked dismay ran through the whole island. Men who would have been scandalized by no other form of violence were horror-stricken at this. Differences of creed were so little understood that a widespread belief ...
— The Story Of Ireland • Emily Lawless

... by the disturbance of the Duchy to reacquire his lordships in the Bergamasque territory. The true motive for his imprisonment remains still buried in obscure conjecture. Probably it was not even known to the Visconti, who acted on this, as on so many other occasions, by a mere spasm of suspicious jealousy, for which he could ...
— Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece • John Addington Symonds

... as though a sharp spasm of pain had convulsed his body. Then he stood as if about ...
— The Night Riders - A Romance of Early Montana • Ridgwell Cullum

... Later the pony was sent out for exercise with Crean. I passed him twice and seemed to gather that things were well, but Crean afterwards told me that he had had considerable trouble. Every few minutes the poor beast had been seized with a spasm of pain, had first dashed forward as though to escape it and then endeavoured to lie down. Crean had had much difficulty in keeping him in, and on his legs, for he is a powerful beast. When he returned to the stable he was evidently worse, and Oates and Anton patiently dragged ...
— Scott's Last Expedition Volume I • Captain R. F. Scott

... take possession. I felt most unexpectedly that I had dashed against something which made a bodily resistance—I received from an unseen power the most violent thrust which a human being ever felt. The working of terror was acting dreadfully within me; its effect was to close my arms as in a spasm, to seize on what stood unseen before me. I staggered onwards, and fell prostrate on the ground; beneath me on his back was a man whom I held fast, and who ...
— Peter Schlemihl • Adelbert von Chamisso

... sudden change, radical change, sweeping organic change; change of state, phase change; quantum leap, quantum jump; clean sweep, coup d'etat [Fr.], counter revolution. jump, leap, plunge, jerk, start, transilience^; explosion; spasm, convulsion, throe, revulsion; storm, earthquake, cataclysm. legerdemain &c (trick) 545. V. revolutionize; new model, remodel, recast; strike out something new, break with the past; change the face of, ...
— Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases: Body • Roget

... tawny or rosy wings, ready to be borne yet farther away by the first breeze. It was all a wealth of leafy locks, sprinkled with a shower of flowers, straying away in wild dishevelment, and suggesting the head of some giantess thrown back in a spasm of passion, with a streaming of magnificent hair, which spread into a ...
— Abbe Mouret's Transgression - La Faute De L'abbe Mouret • Emile Zola

... a racking cough ever since I had known him, but I don't think I ever remembered his having a spasm of this ...
— My Friend Smith - A Story of School and City Life • Talbot Baines Reed

... risky as mine, and more so,' I replied, rising with a jerk, for a spasm of cramp took me. 'We must separate,' I added, as we walked on. 'We want, at one stroke, to prove to them that we're harmless, and to get a fresh start. I ...
— Riddle of the Sands • Erskine Childers

... and flung himself back on the bank in a spasm of impotent loathing of Lord Henry. "They're holding hands!" whispered the girl in ...
— Too Old for Dolls - A Novel • Anthony Mario Ludovici

... his cell! Let the sublimated philosopher grasp visionary happiness, while pursuing phantoms dressed in the garb of truth! Their supreme wisdom is supreme folly: and they mistake for happiness the mere absence of pain. Had they ever felt the solid pleasure of one generous spasm of the heart, they would exchange for it all the frigid speculations of their lives, which you have been vaunting in such elevated terms. Believe me, then, my friend, that that is a miserable arithmetic, which could estimate friendship at nothing, ...
— Memoir, Correspondence, And Miscellanies, From The Papers Of Thomas Jefferson - Volume I • Thomas Jefferson

... of the Scout uniforms might even imagine that they had been attacked by a spasm of fear; but at least two members of the group had within recent times proven their valor in a fashion that the people of ...
— The Banner Boy Scouts on a Tour - The Mystery of Rattlesnake Mountain • George A. Warren

... the mountains of Beulah. And by an odd and luminous accident, if there is any page of literature calculated to awake the envy of M. Zola, it must be that Troilus and Cressida which Shakespeare, in a spasm of unmanly anger with the world, grafted on the heroic story of ...
— The Art of Writing and Other Essays • Robert Louis Stevenson

... passing spasm, mother. I am—I believe I am already better," said the daughter, in an agony of suffering that she dared ...
— The Sea-Witch - or, The African Quadroon A Story of the Slave Coast • Maturin Murray

... called "Al" muttered something which sounded like a disclaimer. Then he caught sight of the Doctor's face over Blaine's shoulder, and a spasm of black rage ...
— The Crevice • William John Burns and Isabel Ostrander

... at that moment looked scarcely a subject for congratulation. A spasm, as though of pain, had suddenly passed across his face. He clutched at ...
— The Double Life Of Mr. Alfred Burton • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... uttered the two last lines, Mihalevitch all but shed tears; a slight spasm—the sign of deep emotion—passed over his wide mouth, his ugly face lighted up. Lavretsky listened, and listened to him—and the spirit of antagonism was aroused in him; he was irritated by the ever-ready enthusiasm of the Moscow student, perpetually ...
— A House of Gentlefolk • Ivan Turgenev

... bed must have wondered at the eccentricity with which her patient's father attired himself. Bending over the little sufferer, Reardon felt for the first time since Willie's birth a strong fatherly emotion; tears rushed to his eyes, and he almost crushed Amy's hand as he held it during the spasm of his ...
— New Grub Street • George Gissing

... enterprising practitioner, glib in theory, and bold in practice—and it had been mutually agreed between them that "stomach" was the cause of these unhandsome symptoms; acridity of the gastric juice, consequent indigestion and spasm, and generally a hypochondriacal habit of body. Mr. Jennings must take certain draughts thrice a day, be very careful of his diet, and keep his mind at ease. As to Simon himself, he was, poor man, much to ...
— The Complete Prose Works of Martin Farquhar Tupper • Martin Farquhar Tupper

... that will be far more amusing than stuffed into one of those plush carriages with the windows closed and forbidden to speak with any one in the corridor. And forced to carry all the hand-luggage off the train (when your father had an economical spasm and would not take a footman) while he stalked out first as if we did not exist. I shall never marry again—Gott in Himmel, no!—but I shall gather about me all the interesting men I never have been ...
— The White Morning • Gertrude Atherton

... period of silence and then he felt a thrill, for it came again, a peculiar whimpering that would have given Billy a spasm of fright had he been awake to catch it, instead ...
— The Boy Scouts with the Motion Picture Players • Robert Shaler

... He lay across the seat, and Jimmie, who had to sit next to him, caught him in his arms and held him. He was quivering, with awful motions like a spasm. He made no sound, and Jimmie was terrified, thinking that he was dying. Before long Jimmie felt a hot wetness stealing over his hands, first slimy, then turning sticky. He had to sit there, almost fainting with horror; he dared not say anything, for maybe the policeman ...
— Jimmie Higgins • Upton Sinclair

... first acute spasm of delight at seeing his own physiognomy reflected in a mirror had passed, I suggested to the king that if he would like to try on his new garments I should be very pleased to instruct him as to the proper method of getting into them, an offer which he instantly accepted; ...
— Through Veld and Forest - An African Story • Harry Collingwood

... of community of spirits, of knowing, and endeavoring after what is morally good, and true, and perfect, and of the yearning after every real disciple of the inner religion of Christians, impels me to suggest to you to tell him from me, that I believe the spasm of his spiritual efforts would sooner be calmed, and the solution of the great problem would sooner be found, if he were to live for a time among us; I mean, if he resided for a time in one of the German universities. We Germans have been for seventy years working as thinkers, inquirers, poets, ...
— Chips From A German Workshop. Vol. III. • F. Max Mueller

... that scrap of paper. He wondered still more, whether Duncan might not report the matter to the comptroller of the currency at Washington, and thus bring about a criminal prosecution, even after the sum irregularly borrowed had been repaid. Then he remembered, with something like a spasm round his heart, that the bookkeeper, Leftwich, had heard the whole conversation, and he remembered also that he had been, as he put it, "rather hard on Leftwich" upon several occasions in the past. If Leftwich ...
— A Captain in the Ranks - A Romance of Affairs • George Cary Eggleston

... and intelligence on the other side. Knaves, using bigotry, ignorance and intimidation as their weapons, manage to control municipal affairs, except when expelled from office for periods more or less brief by some sudden spasm of public virtue and indignation, like the revolt in the city of New York against the Tweed Ring a quarter of a century ago, and the reform victory in ...
— The Land We Live In - The Story of Our Country • Henry Mann

... conventions I tried to feel apprehensive of grave peril. It was no use. I felt safe—not exactly comfortable, but perfectly safe. I could not even muster up a spasm of the spine when a member of our party leaned over and whispered in my ear that any one of these gentry roundabout us would cheerfully cut a man's throat for twenty-five cents. I was surprised, though, at the moderation of the cost; this was ...
— Europe Revised • Irvin S. Cobb

... on that day. It is stated by Mrs Orr that when they were despatched to the journal in which they appeared, Browning regretted the deed, though afterwards he found reasons to justify himself. Fitzgerald's reference to Mrs Browning caused him a spasm of pain and indignation, nor did the pain for long subside. The expression of his indignation was outrageous in manner, and deficient in real power. He had read a worse meaning into the unhappy words than ...
— Robert Browning • Edward Dowden

... pointed to a little silken heap which lay outstretched limp upon the floor. "'Tis poor Frisk, who has had some strange spasm, and fell, striking his head. He hath been ailing for days, and howled loudly but an hour ago. Take him away, ...
— A Lady of Quality • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... me, and a sudden chill seized me and sent me into a spasm of coughing, and the pain of my shoulder shot up into my head like a knife... and I was back—all right—to the ruined church in Belgium, a prisoner of war in the ...
— Three Times and Out • Nellie L. McClung

... blockhead!" he shrieked, raising the injured foot from the ground, while a spasm of anguish contracted his features. "Did you take ...
— The Young Outlaw - or, Adrift in the Streets • Horatio Alger

... sit here," said Mary Fuller, rising from her stool with moist eyes, as she saw a spasm of pain pass over the lad's face. "Perhaps he ...
— The Old Homestead • Ann S. Stephens

... it possible that you can speak like this of one who gets his living by smuggling?" and a spasm of positive agony passed over Reuben's face as he tried to realize the change of thought and feeling which could induce a calm defence of such iniquity. "What's the difference whether a man robs me or he robs the king? Isn't ...
— Lippincott's Magazine, Vol. 26, August, 1880 - of Popular Literature and Science • Various

... you?" said Ted, appealing to Margaret. "She isn't a bit grateful—not she. She turns down a real thorough-going opera singer without a spasm. Time was when she groveled—fairly groveled—at Milano's lightest suggestion. At Leeuwarden, ...
— Miss Pat at Artemis Lodge • Pemberton Ginther

... minutes there was silence in the room. Up from the bar, through the thin partition, came the sounds of oaths and laughter and drunken song. The doctor cursed them all below his breath and turned toward the door. A spasm of coughing brought him back to his patient's side. After the spasm had passed the sick man lay still, his eyes closed, and his breath becoming shorter every moment. Once again the eyes made their appeal, and the ...
— The Doctor - A Tale Of The Rockies • Ralph Connor

... said the child, with a last effort, throwing her arms about his neck. In a moment they dropped again; and, as St. Clare raised his head, he saw a spasm of mortal agony pass over the face,—she struggled for breath, and ...
— Uncle Tom's Cabin • Harriet Beecher Stowe

... for him just after they were married. She supposed that box beside the queer high chair was where he would sit at table and stuff her baby with all kinds of things he shouldn't eat. Where was her baby? A fresh spasm of longing for Lovin Child drove her from the cabin. Find him she would, and that no matter how cunningly Bud ...
— Cabin Fever • B. M. Bower

... now that a spasm of energy and excitement shot through Frank, as he gazed for a few moments, and then thought of the Hakim and the ...
— In the Mahdi's Grasp • George Manville Fenn

... basement to attics. Most of the rooms were unfurnished, but none the less Holmes inspected them all minutely. Finally, on the top corridor, which ran outside three untenanted bedrooms, he again was seized with a spasm of merriment. ...
— The Return of Sherlock Holmes - Magazine Edition • Arthur Conan Doyle

... seized with the same spasm of mad terror. Again they hurled themselves against the electrified lines, and again they were hurled back, masses of boys and girls tumbling against one another, and screaming in one wail that, could it have ...
— Astounding Stories of Super-Science, November, 1930 • Various

... etc., the Chairman of the Committee took his pencil and expressed to him his wishes in the matter. Amongst other questions, he was asked: "Do you regret having attempted to escape from slavery?" After a severe spasm he said, as his friend was about to turn to leave the room, hopeless of being gratified in his purpose: "Don't go; I have not answered your question. I am glad I escaped from slavery!" He then gave his name, and tried to tell the name of his master, ...
— The Underground Railroad • William Still

... spent his days walking about the courtyard, wearing a cigarette tin hung around his neck, into which he used to cough with such terrible effort that it seemed as if he would die every time the spasm shook him. As a matter of fact, he and many others did die before we left the village: the extreme cold was too much for them; or perhaps it was the fact that their quiet had been invaded ...
— Life in a Tank • Richard Haigh

... taking a turn with the rake or in mowing away. I remember the first wire-toothed horse rake with its two handles, which when the day was hot and the grass heavy nearly killed both man and horse. The holder would throw his weight upon it to make it grip and hold the hay, and then, in a spasm of energy, lift it up and make it drop the hay. From this rude instrument, through various types of wooden and revolving rakes, the modern wheeled rake, with which the raker rides at his ease, has been evolved. At this season the cows were brought to the yard by or before ...
— My Boyhood • John Burroughs

... disgust, what made them stand up there So cold and grey. After, a spasm took Her face, and all her frame, she caught her hair, All her hair, in both hands, terribly ...
— The Defence of Guenevere and Other Poems • William Morris

... fascinated, but wholly disgusted, by one of the most unseemly of reptiles, vulgarly known as the "blowing viper" of the Alleghanies. She would look at it, and turn away with irresistible shuddering and the utmost loathing, and yet turn to look at it again and again, only to experience the same spasm of disgust. In spite of her aversion, she must have relished the sort of electric mental shock ...
— Baddeck and That Sort of Thing • Charles Dudley Warner

... joyless activity of the mere intellect, thought not only divorced from hope but even from desire. And if it is impossible to dogmatize about such states, it is still more impossible to describe them. To this spasm of sanity and clarity in Michael's mind succeeded a spasm of the elemental terror; the terror of the animal in us which regards the whole universe as its enemy; which, when it is victorious, has no pity, and so, when ...
— The Ball and The Cross • G.K. Chesterton

... he joined us in the drawing-room at North Villa, he would suddenly stop before we had exchanged more than three or four words, murmur something, in a voice unlike his usual voice, about an attack of spasm and giddiness, and leave the room. These fits of illness had something in their nature of the same secrecy which distinguished everything else connected with him: they produced no external signs of distortion, no unusual paleness in his face—you could not guess what pain he was suffering, or where ...
— Basil • Wilkie Collins

... of bayonet charges and the corps-a-corps. It was as though they wanted to reveal the savagery of war to the last indescribable madness of its lust. "Pah!" said an old cabotin, after one of these word-pictures. "This war is the last spasm of the world's barbarity. Human nature will finish with it this time. . . . Let us talk of the women we have loved. I knew a splendid creature once—she had golden ...
— The Soul of the War • Philip Gibbs

... A spasm crossed his face. Perhaps he was trying to smile. He said only: "Well, put your leg down, then. Seems to me you're old enough and ought to have sense enough not to sit on it when it's asleep. Put ...
— Suzanna Stirs the Fire • Emily Calvin Blake

... own soul; she had redeemed the idea of womanhood from gross associations, and set before him a fair ideal of all that female tenderness and purity may teach to man. Her prayers—well he believed in them,—but be set his teeth with a strange spasm of inward passion,—when he thought of her prayers and love being given to another. He tried to persuade himself that this was only the fervor of pastoral zeal against a vile robber who had seized the fairest lamb of the sheepfold; ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 8, No. 47, September, 1861 • Various

... now!" Mrs. Frayling's fair face clouded on the instant, and her affectionate heart, which had been so happily expanded the moment before by the kind thoughts about her absent friend that came crowding as she wrote to her, contracted now with a painful spasm of nervous apprehension. ...
— The Heavenly Twins • Madame Sarah Grand

... OF THE BRAIN.—In disease of the brain the cry is always sharp, short and piercing. Drowsiness generally follows each spasm of pain. ...
— Searchlights on Health - The Science of Eugenics • B. G. Jefferis and J. L. Nichols

... the distance, and we shouted and beckoned to hurry him. Agility was no part of that policeman's nature, however, and beyond a sudden agitation of his head and his shoulders, which we guessed to be caused by a dignified spasm of leisurely haste, we saw no ...
— The Red Triangle - Being Some Further Chronicles of Martin Hewitt, Investigator • Arthur Morrison

... when they left the train; and while Aubrey was eagerly devouring the produce of the refreshment room, had to lie on a bench under Dr. Spencer's charge, for Ethel's approach only brought on a dangerous spasm of politeness. How she should get on with him for a ...
— The Trial - or, More Links of the Daisy Chain • Charlotte M. Yonge

... On his glacier cold, With his trident the mountains strook; And opened a chasm In the rocks;—with the spasm All Erymanthus shook. And the black south wind It unsealed behind The urns of the silent snow, And earthquake and thunder Did rend in sunder The bars of the springs below:— And the beard and the hair Of the river God were Seen through ...
— Proserpine and Midas • Mary Shelley

... the grimed face turned bony, Open mouth gushing, fallen head, Lessening pressure of a hand shrunk, clammed, and stony O sudden spasm, release of the dead! ...
— Fanny Goes to War • Pat Beauchamp

... Bob was a varied one. He still felt the consequences of that horror into which he had fallen, that spasm and convulsion of terror which had seemed to turn him to stone, yet the relief that had been found was inexpressibly sweet. In spite of the pain which still lingered about his heart, there came a calmer and happier frame of mind; the pain itself also gradually died ...
— Among the Brigands • James de Mille

... How well the two rascals act their part. See the one playing dead. Well, we shall wait long enough to see his imposture exposed. He is sinking fast in the quagmire. His head is almost under now." She had scarce ceased, when the redskin gave a convulsive start, resembling a dying spasm, and got once more safely above the ...
— Annette, The Metis Spy • Joseph Edmund Collins

... vowed!"' When ceased that voice There fell upon the monks a crisis strange; And where that Pilgrim looked for joy, behold, Doubt, wrath, and anguish! Faces old long since Grew older, stricken as by hectic spasm, So fierce a pang had clutched them by the throat; While drops of sweat on many a wrinkled brow Hung large like dewy beads condensed from mist On cliffs by torrents shaken. Mute they sat; Then sudden rose, uplifting helpless hands, As when from distant ...
— Legends of the Saxon Saints • Aubrey de Vere

... murderous basilisk.—When this began, He shouted on poor Lichas, none to blame For thy sole crime, 'What guile is here, thou knave? What was thy fraud in fetching me this robe?' He, all-unknowing, in an evil hour Declared his message, that the gift was thine. Whereat the hero, while the shooting spasm Had fastened on the lungs, seized him by the foot Where the ankle turns i' the socket, and, with a thought, Hurl'd on a surf-vex'd reef that showed i' the sea: And rained the grey pulp from the hair, the brain Being scattered with the blood. Then the great throng Saddened their festival with piteous ...
— The Seven Plays in English Verse • Sophocles

... is struggling for utterance below. Just such flashes of eager sympathetic fire break continually from the cloudy volumes of Rousseau, the result at once and the warning of that convulsion of which Paris was to be the crater and all Europe to feel the spasm. There are symptoms enough elsewhere of that want of faith in the existing order which made the Revolution inevitable,—even so shallow an observer as Horace Walpole could forebode it so early as 1765,—but ...
— Among My Books - First Series • James Russell Lowell

... impression that bats were made to get on with, while the rest of Callahan's bunch use them solely to get out with, and that was the whole trouble in the last round. The Sox entered that spasm four runs behind, having converted Demmitt's lone hit in the first inning into the only genuine tally of ...
— News Writing - The Gathering , Handling and Writing of News Stories • M. Lyle Spencer

... A spasm of savage conviction seized Mrs. McKinstry. But it was more from her jealous fears of her husband's disloyalty than concern for her daughter's transgression. Nevertheless, she said desperately, "It's a ...
— Cressy • Bret Harte

... blood of their slaughtered compatriots. Wheresoever the lake was shallow enough to allow of men raising their heads above the water, there, 5 for scores of acres, were to be seen all forms of ghastly fear, of agonizing struggle, of spasm, of death, and the fear of death—revenge, and the lunacy of revenge—until the neutral spectators, of whom there were not a few, now descending the eastern side of the lake, at length 10 averted their eyes in horror. This horror, which seemed incapable of further addition, was, ...
— De Quincey's Revolt of the Tartars • Thomas De Quincey

... oath broke from the gambler, and his face contorted in a spasm. The barkeepers slid out from behind the bar. For a moment the situation was tense and threatening. The dealer with a sweeping glance again searched the faces of those before him. In that moment, probably, he made up his mind that an open scandal must ...
— The Riverman • Stewart Edward White

... Indian gave a last spasm with his hands and feet, and lay rigid, grinning up at the slit ...
— The Refugees • Arthur Conan Doyle

... we should have felt still more uneasy. The house faced Bald Mountain, 4000 feet high, a hill that had a very bad reputation some years ago, and was visited by newspaper reporters. This is, in fact, the famous Shaking Mountain. For a long time it had a habit of trembling, as if in an earthquake spasm, but with a shivering motion very different from that produced by an earthquake. The only good that came of it was that it frightened all the "moonshiners," and caused them to join the church. It is not reported what became of the church afterwards. It is believed ...
— Baddeck and That Sort of Thing • Charles Dudley Warner

... the remotest quarters. Wherever he has set down his solid foot, he has taken permanent possession of the country. The ancient religions of the primaeval East or the quaint beliefs of savage tribes make no particular impression upon him, except a passing spasm of disgust at anybody having different superstitions from his own; and, being in the main a good-natured animal in a stolid way of his own, he is able to make use even of popish priests if they will help to found a new market for ...
— Hours in a Library, Volume I. (of III.) • Leslie Stephen

... handsome," yelled Blinky, in a spasm of glee. "Ride him, you Texas cowpunchin' galoot! You'll shore be the first one who ever forked him ...
— Valley of Wild Horses • Zane Grey

... muscles of expression are usually the first brought under the continual spasm of tetanus, and when thus affected give the face of the animal a pinched and drawn-in appearance. The other muscles of the head and those of the neck are next attacked. The mouth is closed, the nose poked out, the head elevated. The muscles of breathing, and those ...
— The Veterinarian • Chas. J. Korinek

... to blink rapidly, his jaw dropped, and he slid forward in his chair to writhe in a spasm of what might be weirdly silent laughter. His face was purple, convulsed, but no sound came from his moving lips. The others regarded ...
— The Wrong Twin • Harry Leon Wilson

... Poker Flat was "after somebody." It had lately suffered the loss of several thousand dollars, two valuable horses, and a prominent citizen. It was experiencing a spasm of virtuous reaction, quite as lawless and ungovernable as any of the acts that had provoked it. A secret committee had determined to rid the town of all improper persons. This was done permanently in regard of two men who were then hanging from the boughs of ...
— Short Stories Old and New • Selected and Edited by C. Alphonso Smith

... sheer panic. Was he just stupid and bestial? The thought went clean through her. His yellow eyes watched her sardonically. It was the clean modelling of his dark, other-world face that decided her—for it sent the deep spasm ...
— The Lost Girl • D. H. Lawrence

... trenches straight from his home life the ordinary man would consider himself as undergoing hardships undreamt of. Visiting those trenches straight from the Somme the other day, with their duck-boards and sandbags, and the occasional ping of a sniper's bullet, and the momentary spasm of field guns and trench mortars which appeared in the official summary next day as "artillery and trench mortar activity"—after the Somme, I say, one found oneself looking on it, in the terms of the friend who went with me, ...
— Letters from France • C. E. W. Bean

... lamentations, as is usual when colored people are wrought up under excitement, but sobs, groans and whispered petitions. Bless our pastor, Lord, an' save him ef it be Thy will," came from many lips, followed by "Amens" and "Do, Lord." Suddenly the church was thrown into a spasm of excitement that could not be suppressed, for while they were breathing prayers for his deliverance, the pastor, wet, footsore and tired, entered and strode slowly up the aisle. "Why did you, oh, why did you ...
— Hanover; Or The Persecution of the Lowly - A Story of the Wilmington Massacre. • David Bryant Fulton

... always much disorganised. The 'bus on which I was riding became entangled in a block at the corner of Snow Hill, and for ten minutes we had been merely crawling, one joint of a long, sinuous serpent moving by short, painful jerks. It came to me while I was sitting there with a sharp spasm of physical pain. I jumped from the 'bus and began to run, and the terror and the hurt of it grew with every step. I ran as if I feared he might be dead before I could reach the office. He was waiting for me with a smile as usual, and I flung ...
— Paul Kelver • Jerome Klapka, AKA Jerome K. Jerome

... apparently. He stooped over it. It was the baby's shoe—white, it had been originally. He remembered it. Now it was stained with blood. That was all that was left—a little baby's shoe, blood spotted. He pressed it to his heart and groaned aloud. A spasm of mortal anguish shook his frame. He lifted his clenched hand toward the sky overshadowing ...
— And Thus He Came • Cyrus Townsend Brady

... lady could not endure it, and, in a spasm of jealous passion, sprang at Myrtle, snatched it from her head, and trampled it under her feet at the very instant the curtain was rising. With a cry which some said had the blood-chilling tone of an Indian's battle-shriek, Myrtle caught the knife up, and raised her arm against the girl who ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 20, No. 118, August, 1867 • Various

... decisions where his own interests were concerned, and it did not take him half a minute to review his position and determine what to do. This plain blonde girl without fortune was not the girl he could marry; she had deceived him, too—he had a sudden and severe spasm of morality; his confidence was broken; he thought it was very poor sport to play with a man's most sacred feelings; he had been deeply disappointed ...
— Winter Evening Tales • Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr

... mysterious and vexatious to which our nature is liable; both its cause and cure are equally occult, and its modus operandi is scarcely intelligible. A contemporary thus playfully alludes to the subject in terms more funny than precise:—'What is neuralgia? A nervous spasm, the cause of which has, however, not been satisfactorily and conclusively demonstrated; but we may, perhaps, obtain a clearer view of its nature, if we look upon it as connected with "morbid nutrition." Every one knows that the system is, ...
— Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 442 - Volume 17, New Series, June 19, 1852 • Various

... spasm of pain shot across the face of the man. "If he's done my little girl any meanness, he'd better blow his head off before I get ...
— The Sheriff's Son • William MacLeod Raine

... quickly for so many years grew perceptibly fainter, the hens cackled less domineeringly, the pigs squealed less insistently, and as for the strutting cockerel, that lordly and despotic bird stopped fairly in the middle of a crow, and his voice gurgled away in a spasm of astonishment. As for the old farmhouse, it grew so dim I could scarcely see it at all! Having thus published abroad my Declaration of Independence, nailed my defiance to the door, and otherwise established myself as a free person, I turned over in my bed and ...
— The Friendly Road - New Adventures in Contentment • (AKA David Grayson) Ray Stannard Baker

... before the fireplace in the library, nervously pacing to and fro across the rug. Would she see him? How much did she know? How much did they all know? How much would she forgive? ... These questions had racked him every hour since in a spasm of nervous terror he had flung the pistol over the bushes and heard it splash in the river, and with one terrified look at the wounded man, whom he had dragged into the thicket, had got himself in some unremembered ...
— Together • Robert Herrick (1868-1938)

... our child, Bianca, for my sake.' And then, as she knelt beside him in speechless anguish and remorse, he called his little Crystal to him and kissed and blessed me, and while he was still holding my hand a sudden spasm crossed his face and he put his head down upon her shoulder, and in another moment ...
— Wee Wifie • Rosa Nouchette Carey

... have a spasm," Katherine cautioned. "He thinks we are not his friends and are going to do something he doesn't want us to do. Let me ...
— Campfire Girls at Twin Lakes - The Quest of a Summer Vacation • Stella M. Francis

... contrary, has risen very much refreshed for new practice. The Doctor never compassed so fine a sleight as Sir ROBERT when lately, playing the philanthropist, he struck his breeches' pocket with a spasm of benevolence, and pulled therefrom—fifty pounds! Only a few weeks before, Sir ROBERT had sworn by all his list of former cures, that he would clothe the naked and feed the hungry, if he were duly authorised and duly paid for such Christian-like solicitude. He is called in; he then prorogues ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 1, Complete • Various

... stuck his hands behind him, pointed his nose in the air, and walked forward with such a display of offended dignity that Jack Penny doubled up, putting his head between his knees and pinning it firm, while he laughed in throes, each of which sent a spasm through his loose-jointed body. ...
— Bunyip Land - A Story of Adventure in New Guinea • George Manville Fenn

... Estcourt's eyes closed, it seemed to him that with a sudden sharp spasm of pain he tore himself away from that sleeping sentient portion of humanity which was his representation, and then, without effort or consciousness of his own, he seemed floating swiftly along over a dark and misty space. A great sea tossed and moaned ...
— The Mystery of a Turkish Bath • E.M. Gollan (AKA Rita)

... clothes were ill-fastened. He threw a glance of contempt, the contempt of the indoor servant, at the sleeping figures, lying here and there in the wet. Thence his eyes travelled on and took in the group by the gate. He started, and wrung his hands in sudden, irrepressible distress. It was as if a spasm ...
— The Wild Geese • Stanley John Weyman

... bells which seemed to pour through the open window was thus partly silenced. The lantern made its dim illumination with specks of light, swinging from a nail over the window alcove. Maria had not yet unclosed her eyes. Her wasted hand made a network around one of Rice's fingers, and as the coughing spasm seized her she ...
— Old Kaskaskia • Mary Hartwell Catherwood



Words linked to "Spasm" :   twitching, laryngismus, cardiospasm, charley horse, opisthotonos, muscle spasm, twitch, trismus, crick, writer's cramp, cramp, bronchospasm, symptom, heave, myoclonus, pathology, blepharospasm, constriction, graphospasm, rick, charley-horse, retch, vellication, kink, tenesmus, wrick



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