noun Etymology: Middle English paroxism, from Medieval Latin paroxysmus, from Greek paroxysmos, from paroxynein to stimulate, from para- + oxynein to provoke, from oxys sharp — more at oxygen Date: 15th century 1. a fit, attack, or sudden increase or recurrence of symptoms (as of a disease) ; convulsion <
a paroxysm of coughing
2. a sudden violent emotion or action ; outburst <
a paroxysm of rage
paroxysmal adjective

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

(of a disease, periodically), , ,

Look at other dictionaries:

  • paroxysm — ► NOUN ▪ a sudden attack or outburst: a paroxysm of weeping. DERIVATIVES paroxysmal adjective. ORIGIN Greek paroxusmos, from paroxunein exasperate …   English terms dictionary

  • Paroxysm — Par ox*ysm, n. [F. paroxysme, Gr. ?, fr. ? to sharpen, irritate; para beside, beyond + ? to sharpen, from ? sharp.] 1. (Med.) The fit, attack, or exacerbation, of a disease that occurs at intervals, or has decided remissions or intermissions.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • paroxysm — index outbreak, outburst Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • paroxysm — (n.) sudden attack, convulsion, 1570s, from M.Fr. paroxysme (16c.), earlier paroxime (13c.), from M.L. paroxysmus irritation, fit of a disease, from Gk. paroxysmos, from paroxynein to irritate, goad, from para beyond (see PARA (Cf. para )) +… …   Etymology dictionary

  • paroxysm — spasm, convulsion, *fit, attack, access, accession …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • paroxysm — [n] seizure, spasm agitation, anger, attack, convulsion, eruption, excitement, explosion, fit, flare up*, frenzy, frothing, fuming, furor, fury, hysterics, outbreak, outburst, passion, rage, violence; concepts 308,316,410 …   New thesaurus

  • paroxysm — [par′ək siz΄əm] n. [Fr paroxysme < ML paroxysmus < Gr paroxysmos < paroxynein, to excite, sharpen < para , beyond (see PARA 1) + oxynein, to sharpen < oxys, sharp: see OXY 2] 1. a sudden attack, or intensification of the symptoms,… …   English World dictionary

  • paroxysm — [[t]pæ̱rəksɪzəm[/t]] paroxysms 1) N COUNT: usu N of n A paroxysm of emotion is a sudden, very strong occurrence of it. Later the same day, he exploded in a paroxysm of rage which continued for half an hour. ...a paroxysm of grief. Syn: fit 2) N… …   English dictionary

  • Paroxysm — In medicine, a paroxysm is a violent attack. It may be due to the sudden occurrence of symptoms or the acute exacerbation (the abrupt worsening) of preexisting symptoms. You may have a paroxysm of coughing as opposed, for example, to a lingering… …   Medical dictionary

  • paroxysm — UK [ˈpærəkˌsɪz(ə)m] / US [ˈperəkˌsɪzəm] noun [countable] Word forms paroxysm : singular paroxysm plural paroxysms formal a sudden uncontrolled expression of emotion paroxysm of: paroxysms of laughter …   English dictionary

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