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Spasm   /spˈæzəm/   Listen
Spasm

noun
1.
A painful and involuntary muscular contraction.  Synonyms: cramp, muscle spasm.
2.
(pathology) sudden constriction of a hollow organ (as a blood vessel).



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"Spasm" Quotes from Famous Books



... powerless at his side. This is the so-called "reflex paralysis." Very commonly the irritation of a nerve will give rise to an impulse which will travel up the nerve to a motor-centre, and so excite it that it shall send in turn an impulse down a second nerve to a distant muscle, and a spasm result. Sometimes, however, the impulse which travels to the nerve-centre is of such a character that, instead of exciting it to action, it deprives it of the power of action. In the former instance reflex motion, in the latter ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. 15, - No. 86, February, 1875 • Various

... from over to Jocelyn's, yist'd'y," he said, in a spasm of sharp, crackling speech, "and they seemed to think 't Mis' Mulbridge'd got to step round pretty spry 'f she did n't want another the same name in the house ...
— Henry James, Jr. • William Dean Howells

... root is the part used. This is a powerful antispasmodic, and has been successfully used in bilious colic, nausea, and spasm of the bowels. Dose—Of the infusion (two ounces to a pint of water), one to two ounces; of the fluid extract, five to fifteen drops; of the concentrated principle, Dioscorein, ...
— The People's Common Sense Medical Adviser in Plain English • R. V. Pierce

... Let not the spasm of infidelity mar my letter in your eyes or heart, and on your anniversary let one stream flow to the ...
— Early Letters of George Wm. Curtis • G. W. Curtis, ed. George Willis Cooke

... she broke into hard dry sobs which rattled in her throat before they escaped. A spasm of self-pity worked convulsively in her bosom, and, turning away, she buried her face in her arms, while the long, agonized tremors shook her slender figure. Looking at her, he remembered bitterly that he had married Judy in ...
— The Miller Of Old Church • Ellen Glasgow

... and clasped her, holding out a hand to Angela, whose eyes were full of tears of relief and trust. Marilda gave a glad welcome, but they were startled by perceiving that the joy of meeting had brought on a spasm of choking on Lena, who was gasping in a strange sort of agony. Angela took her in her arms and carried her out of the room. Marilda presently following, came back reporting that the little girl had been relieved by a shower of tears, but was still faint and agitated, ...
— Modern Broods • Charlotte Mary Yonge

... never laugh when on duty. There is probably something in the regulations against it. But Officer Donahue permitted the left corner of his mouth to twitch slightly, and a momentary muscular spasm disturbed the calm of Officer Cassidy's granite features, as a passing breeze ruffles the ...
— Indiscretions of Archie • P. G. Wodehouse

... rope had seemed to him to be running out to a far greater extent than he had taken it himself; but in reality it had gone away at about the same rate, so that something like the same quantity had been drawn through his hands when it suddenly ceased to glide, and directly after a spasm shot through the lad's brain, for it had stopped, and directly after the signal was given sharply, ...
— The Lost Middy - Being the Secret of the Smugglers' Gap • George Manville Fenn

... on which Colonel J. H. Mapleson was its lessee, in 1886, and omitting the expiring gasps which the Italian entertainment made under Signor Angelo, in October, 1886, under Italo Campanini, in April, 1888, and the final short spasm under the doughty Colonel in 1896. The first Italian Opera House (that was its name) became the National Theater; the second, which was known as Palmo's Opera House, when turned over to the spoken ...
— Chapters of Opera • Henry Edward Krehbiel

... she informed them placidly, when the ragtime spasm ended. "He telephoned that he was going to snatch a few minutes between important business confabs to run ...
— Big Timber - A Story of the Northwest • Bertrand W. Sinclair

... rattling, fainter and fainter, of wheels. A spasm seizes on STRANGWAY'S face, as he stands there by the open door, his hand grips his throat; he looks from side to side, as if seeking a way ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... towards the dead body of her husband, and, without an effort—with the unaffectedness of one discharging a duty—she drew down the eyelids. Then she spread out her two arms, her figure writhing as if in a spasm of repressed despair, and quitted the room, supported by the physician ...
— Sentimental Education, Volume II - The History of a Young Man • Gustave Flaubert

... clock, which every now and again seemed to have a spasm of distaste for its steady record of the fleeting seconds. "Wound up to go all day!" she thought, comparing the clock with herself in an ...
— Nocturne • Frank Swinnerton

... the death color, and he was twice sentenced to be burned alive, at the Pickaway Plains and at Sandusky. But each time he was saved at the last moment, once through a sudden spasm of mercy on the part of the renegade Girty, his old companion in arms at the time of Lord Dunmore's war, and again by the powerful intercession of the great Mingo chief, Logan. At last, after having run the gauntlet eight times and been thrice tied to the ...
— The Winning of the West, Volume Two - From the Alleghanies to the Mississippi, 1777-1783 • Theodore Roosevelt

... to go under a sizzling right-hand blow from the mulatto and come up with a right uppercut to the ugly, freckled face and a left rip to the mulatto's midriff. The fellow grunted, and a spasm of pain crossed his countenance. "You yellow dog!" Donald muttered, and flattened his nose far flatter than his mammy had ever wiped it. The enemy promptly backed away and covered; a hearty thump in the solar ...
— Kindred of the Dust • Peter B. Kyne

... surprise of the great majority of the French people, the value of the assignats was found, after the momentary spasm of fear had passed, not to have been permanently increased by these measures: on the contrary, this "fiat" paper persisted in obeying the natural laws of finance and, as new issues increased, their value decreased. Nor did ...
— Fiat Money Inflation in France - How It Came, What It Brought, and How It Ended • Andrew Dickson White

... one moment of time. In the next, that wild figure they saw (As if stung by a spasm) plunge into a chasm, While they waited ...
— The Hunting of the Snark - an Agony, in Eight Fits • Lewis Carroll

... 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

... strength or the courage. He shrank from the picture as one shrinks from something horrible in a bad dream. There could be no question of failure. He had to succeed at any cost, however desperate or fantastic. Once more the spasm of childish, futile rage swept over him and shook him like ...
— Jason • Justus Miles Forman

... every dark corner, the figure of a woman was seen close by the eaves of the house of Kondo[u] Rokuro[u]bei. As he approached she came forward laughing wildly the while. The light of his lantern fell on the ghastly white face, the disordered hair. In a spasm of fright he dropped the lantern and delivered his blow in drawing the sword. The cut was almost identical with the one delivered to Myo[u]zen the priest. The men there gathered looked into each other's faces, then at the body of O'Kame ...
— The Yotsuya Kwaidan or O'Iwa Inari - Tales of the Tokugawa, Volume 1 (of 2) • James S. De Benneville

... while he can. He is too old and too busy for such annoyances. Let him find some other young man whose name is known and whose studio is in a civilized part of the town and who has done some rather good work for some rather nice people." Virgilia crinkled up her eyes in a little spasm of confidential merriment and then opened them on her surroundings—the rich sobriety of the furniture; the casual picturesque groupings of "nice people"; the shining tea-urn flanked by the candles ...
— Under the Skylights • Henry Blake Fuller

... 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 ...
— Scott's Last Expedition Volume I • Captain R. F. Scott

... position on the surface. One morning, as the prisoners were being let down into the mines, apparently in a fit he fell into the arms of a prisoner; when he landed at the bottom he was in the worst part of his spasm; the officer in charge ordered him sent to the top as soon as he had partially recovered, stating that it was dangerous to have a man working in the mines who was subject to fits, as he might not only kill himself but be the cause of ...
— The Twin Hells • John N. Reynolds

... One day, in a spasm of energy, she proposed to take me to see a friend of hers, Countess B——, who, she said, lived quite near. We would spend the night, returning the next day. She thought it would be a very pleasant and entertaining little excursion ...
— In the Courts of Memory 1858-1875. • L. de Hegermann-Lindencrone

... to her feet, and spasm after spasm shook her galvanized frame, as she picked up her letter, found a match, drew it, set fire to the paper, threw it, blazing, down upon the marble hearth, and watched it until it was consumed to a ...
— The Lost Lady of Lone • E.D.E.N. Southworth

... chill, it was a little ache, it was a little sense of sickness; none of these violent, yet all distinct. And all about what? After this curious, novel spasm at the heart, she began to be ashamed of herself for having had such ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 17, No. 102, April, 1866 • Various

... flesh, his heart bitter in the thought of the death that was his. Already he felt the deadly virus pulsing through his veins. A hundred times in the short hour that had passed he suffered death—death beginning with the gripping throat, the shortened breath, the foaming mouth, the spasm! ...
— The Bishop of Cottontown - A Story of the Southern Cotton Mills • John Trotwood Moore

... had been. She was balanced upon a giddy pinnacle, the highest in the world, and yet the higher the deeper the fall. Everything that earth could give was now at her feet. Was she to risk the losing of it all—for what? For a weakness which was unworthy of an Empress, for a foolish new-born spasm of love, for that which had no existence within her in the morning? How could she be so foolish as to risk losing such a substance for such ...
— The Last Galley Impressions and Tales - Impressions and Tales • Arthur Conan Doyle

... me too rapidly, and without sufficient gradation, into a highly rarefied stratum of the atmosphere, and the result had nearly proved fatal to my expedition and to myself. I was suddenly seized with a spasm which lasted for more than five minutes, and even when this, in a measure, ceased, I could catch my breath only at long intervals, and in a gasping manner—bleeding all the while copiously at the nose and ears, and even slightly at the eyes. The pigeons appeared distressed in the ...
— The Works of Edgar Allan Poe - Volume 1 (of 5) of the Raven Edition • Edgar Allan Poe

... turned pale, she looked at him hard, imploringly, in the eyes: there was a name she was terribly afraid he would mention. 'Oh sir, in that case we had better go and get ready!' Miss Steet quavered, betwixt a laugh and a groan, in a spasm of discretion; and before Laura knew it she had gathered Geordie and Ferdy together and swept them out of the room. The door closed behind her with a very quick softness and Lionel remained a ...
— A London Life; The Patagonia; The Liar; Mrs. Temperly • Henry James

... down a hollow, lying almost on her side, and righting at the bottom with a wrench and a spasm. ...
— McClure's Magazine, March, 1896, Vol. VI., No. 4. • Various

... or sudden spasm of the heart; terrible Ziska,[75] as it were, killing him at second hand. For Ziska, stout and furious, blind of one eye and at last of both, a kind of human rhinoceros driven mad, had risen out of the ashes of murdered Huss, and other bad papistic doings, in the interim; and was tearing ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 07 • Various

... rats when my wandering footsteps disturbed him and sent him home to his den; and making straight for it, as his way was, he came to my foot, and instead of going round drew himself over it. After the first spasm of terror I knew I was perfectly safe, that he would not turn upon me so long as I remained quiescent, and would presently be gone from sight. And that was my last sight of him; in vain I watched and waited for him to appear on many subsequent days: but ...
— Far Away and Long Ago • W. H. Hudson

... the tapering mast of the Loulia against the thin, magical gold of the sky at sunset. He saw it against the even more magical primrose, pale green, soft red, of the after-glow. He saw it black as ink in the livid spasm of light that the falling night struck away from the river, the land, the sky. And then he ...
— Bella Donna - A Novel • Robert Hichens

... 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 myself ...
— Paul Kelver • Jerome Klapka, AKA Jerome K. Jerome

... round him at the awakening beauty of the springtide world, and a lump seemed to rise in his throat. His face contracted as though with a spasm of pain, and he spoke ...
— For the Faith • Evelyn Everett-Green

... crime itself—the actual loss caused to the community by the thieving of thieves,—of the thieves, that is, who have been convicted and condemned as such; for there is no way of figuring on how much the undetected thieves steal. Every time we shake the social body, in this or that spasm of probing and reform, hundreds drop out, like moths from an unprotected garment; so that at last we are prone to suspect that the thief, overt or covert, is more the rule than the exception, and that a good part of the cash in ...
— The Subterranean Brotherhood • Julian Hawthorne

... he mechanically locked up his papers, and pressed his hand to his heart for an instant, as if a spasm had shot ...
— The International Monthly Magazine, Volume 5, No. 1, January, 1852 • Various

... most noticeably, when he sketches the burned letters as they hover along the gusty flue, 'Thin, sable veils, wherein a restless spark Yet trembled.' But the description is at its best when the subjects are unpleasant, or even grisly. There are a few capital lines in this key on the last spasm of the battle before alluded to. Surely nothing could be better, in its own way, than the fish in 'The Last Cruise of the Arrogant,' 'the shadowy, side-faced, silent things,' that come butting and staring with lidless eyes at ...
— Lay Morals • Robert Louis Stevenson

... spasm of the old hate, but a feeble one, hardly more than a brief wash of the early torrents of rage. Something had burned out of him these months; an increasing dullness was moving into ...
— Gone Fishing • James H. Schmitz

... night lamp. His heart leaped to see the child with its fair locks all tumbled upon the pillow, a dimpled hand laid under a dimpled cheek, ease and comfort and well-being in every lovely curve; and then there came a momentary spasm across his face, and he murmured "Poor little beggar!" under his breath. He was not panic-stricken like Lucy. He was a man made robust by much experience of the world, and a child more or less was not a thing to affect him as it would a young mother; ...
— Sir Tom • Mrs. Oliphant

... horse had been doctored, could not explain when or how, or by what medicines. Forest King had simply "broken down"; favorites do this on the flat and over the furrow from an overstrain, from a railway journey, from a touch of cold, from a sudden decay of power, from spasm, or from vertigo; those who lose by them may think what they will of "roping," or "painting," or "nobbling," but what ...
— Under Two Flags • Ouida [Louise de la Ramee]

... remember that he was a man of impulses; at one instant a mere incarnate thrill of gratitude or generosity, and in the next of spite or jealousy. A spasm of wounded vanity would make him for the time as mean and selfish as other men are made by a frenzy of bodily fear. He would instinctively snatch at a lie even when a moment's reflection would have shown that the plain truth would be more convenient, and therefore he had to accumulate lie ...
— Alexander Pope - English Men of Letters Series • Leslie Stephen

... thus apparently deserted more than once before, and told himself now that his uneasiness was absurd. But when the girl suddenly appeared on the veranda and stood staring at the approaching horsemen, Buck's heart leaped with a sudden spasm of intense relief, and unconsciously he spurred his horse ahead of ...
— Shoe-Bar Stratton • Joseph Bushnell Ames

... lifted the thin soft hair from off the temples, and bathed them with water. Nicholas understood all her signs for different articles with the quickness of love, and even the round-eyed sister moved with laborious gentleness at Margaret's 'hush!' Presently the spasm that foreshadowed death had passed away, and Bessy roused herself ...
— North and South • Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

... She was never finer than when she knelt at Harold's bedside and laid her hand gently on his forehead. She could not speak for a moment, and when her eyes cleared of their tears and she felt the wide, dry eyes of the man searching her, a spasm ...
— The Eagle's Heart • Hamlin Garland

... fell on us bodily with a great weight of wind and white rain, pressing us into the sea. The Mona made ineffective leaps, trying to get release from her imprisonment, but only succeeded in pouring water over the inert figure lying on the bottom boards. In a spasm of fear he sprang up and began to scramble wildly towards his wife, who in her nervousness was gripping the gunwale, but was facing the affair silently and pluckily. "Keep still there!" peremptorily ordered the sailor; and the man bundled down without a word, like a dog, an abject ...
— Old Junk • H. M. Tomlinson

... gunner—the Arab laid his gun and waited till the sights "came on," fired, and had the satisfaction of seeing the child fling up his arms, leap into the air and fall twitching to the ground. Good shot! The twitches and the last convulsive spasm were highly artistic and creditable to the histrionic powers of Moussa Isa, shot through the ear, and inwardly congratulating himself that he had yet a chance. But then he had had wide opportunity for observation, and ...
— Driftwood Spars - The Stories of a Man, a Boy, a Woman, and Certain Other People Who - Strangely Met Upon the Sea of Life • Percival Christopher Wren

... her mother's eye, and both felt a spasm of uncontrollable diversion in their throats, making Janet turn her back, and Carey gasp and turn ...
— Magnum Bonum • Charlotte M. Yonge

... at her breath, inaudibly; only Duncan could see the little spasm of mortification and anger ...
— The Fortune Hunter • Louis Joseph Vance

... the cupola of it were breastworks of heavy timbers banked with earth, and with a ditch and a tangle of trees in front. The place was the keystone of the Confederate arch, and the name of it was "the Angle"—"Bloody Angle!" Montague heard the man who sat next to him draw in his breath, as if a spasm of pain ...
— The Metropolis • Upton Sinclair

... did rush in, and of course where least expected. He seized one of our porters by the shoulder, his claws doing more damage than his teeth. I shot him by thrusting my rifle into his ear, and although that dropped him instantly his claws, in the dying spasm and by the weight of his fall, tore wounds in the man's arm eighteen or twenty ...
— The Ivory Trail • Talbot Mundy

... she returned drearily. 'I think it has half crazed me to know we must go away. Oh, if you knew what my life has been, and what a haven of rest this has seemed!' She looked round the room, and a sort of spasm crossed her face. 'It is all so sweet and homelike, and he has loved it so; and now to begin all afresh, and to go amongst strangers—and then the loss——' She stopped as though something seemed to ...
— Lover or Friend • Rosa Nouchette Carey

... An enthusiastic commercial spasm will be worth nothing. There have got to be real efforts, real hard work, the expenditure of money for future and not merely immediate profits, a cheerful readiness to discard old and cherished methods, a new adaptability, a new painstaking attention ...
— New York Times Current History; The European War, Vol 2, No. 2, May, 1915 - April-September, 1915 • Various

... looking at him saucily. The girls giggled again, and the young men guffawed. They thought it was the snub that touched him so that he became as white as a sheet as he turned away. But Sarah, who knew more than they did, laughed, for she saw triumph through the spasm of pain that overspread ...
— Dracula's Guest • Bram Stoker

... the sexes. Whenever by the procreative act the germ body is prepared, a fiend hies from bale, or an angel stoops from bliss, or a demon darts from his hovering in the air, to inhabit and rule his growing clay house for a term of earthly life. The spasm of impregnation thrills in fatal summons to hell or heaven, and resistlessly drags a spirit into the appointed receptacle. Shakspeare, whose genius seems to have touched every shape of thought with adorning phrase, makes Juliet, distracted with the momentary ...
— The Destiny of the Soul - A Critical History of the Doctrine of a Future Life • William Rounseville Alger

... martyred saint! loved that child as her own. And I loved Marian—loved her as I had never dreamed it possible for heart to love—I cannot speak of this! it deprives me of reason," he said, suddenly covering his eyes with his hands, while a spasm agitated his worn face. In a few ...
— The Missing Bride • Mrs. E. D. E. N. Southworth

... he had worked himself up into such a spasm of crying that he could not stop, for all little Elsie's begging. She wiped his eyes on the sheet with her little dimpled hands, and kissed him a dozen times. Then I think she must have grown frightened at his sobs, for she slipped off the bed to the floor, "I'll tell papa that you ...
— The Story of Dago • Annie Fellows-Johnston

... little about the money part of the scheme. She only guessed what had become of Aunt Raby's watch and chain; and a spasm crossed her face when one day she happened to see that Aunt Raby's poor little jewel case was empty. The jewels and the watch could certainly not fetch much, but they provided Prissie with a modest little outfit, and Mr. Hayes had got a grant from a loan society, which ...
— A Sweet Girl Graduate • Mrs. L.T. Meade

... It is said that the nerves of an Indian do not shrink as much, nor shew the same tendency to spasm, under the knife of the surgeon, as the nerves of a white man in ...
— Chronicles of Border Warfare • Alexander Scott Withers

... 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, or at less than nothing. Respect ...
— Memoir, Correspondence, And Miscellanies, From The Papers Of Thomas Jefferson - Volume I • Thomas Jefferson

... men are wet, And the walls are besprinkled with blood, and the ghosts in the gateway are met, Ghosts in the court and the gateway are gathered, Hell opens her lips, And the sun in his splendour is shrouded, and sickens in spasm of eclipse." ...
— Essays in Little • Andrew Lang

... 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; but there was an intensely bitter, miserable feeling ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 8, No. 47, September, 1861 • Various

... Valley of the Shadow of the Drug through which they are continually straying, I can not say. They seldom smile, and their laughter is of such an extraordinary and sardonic nature—so purely a mechanical spasm, quite independent of any mirthful attribute—that to this day I am doubtful whether I ever saw a Chinaman laugh. A theatrical representation by natives, one might think, would have set my mind at ease on this point; but it did not. Indeed, a new difficulty presented itself—the ...
— The Best of the World's Classics, Restricted to Prose, Vol. X (of X) - America - II, Index • Various

... but the ghost of the formerly beautiful and radiant Marie-Anne. Her quick, alert tread had become slow and dragging, often she sat for whole days motionless in her chair, her eyes fixed upon vacancy, her lips contracted as if by a spasm, while great tears rolled ...
— The Honor of the Name • Emile Gaboriau

... said this, 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 ...
— A Lady of Quality • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... a hand to the fallen rider. He grasped it, and tried to rise; a spasm of pain crossed ...
— The Hero of Garside School • J. Harwood Panting

... 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 sides of ...
— The Double Life Of Mr. Alfred Burton • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... rumbled the Pit. It was as if the Wheat, Nourisher of the Nations, as it rolled gigantic and majestic in a vast flood from West to East, here, like a Niagara, finding its flow impeded, burst suddenly into the appalling fury of the Maelstrom, into the chaotic spasm of a world-force, a primeval energy, blood-brother of the earthquake and the glacier, raging and wrathful that its power should be braved by some pinch of human spawn that dared ...
— The Pit • Frank Norris

... office was in a spasm of activity, bells were ringing, doors slamming, and guests arriving. The group of loiterers who usually sat facing the fire, criticizing the daily proceedings of the legislature, now stood in a semicircle with their backs to it, ...
— A Romance of Billy-Goat Hill • Alice Hegan Rice

... She has dressed in a green cloak and sold shamrock on St. Patrick's day. She has dressed in rags and sung in the streets for charity. She has hired a van and ridden about the suburbs pretending to sell domestic articles. She has attended revival meetings and thrown herself in a spasm of ecstasy upon what she calls ...
— An Ocean Tramp • William McFee

... being snapped up by other partners and addressed familiarly by the waiters and their women. She could feel the moisture of their hands and smell the oil of their hair, and a feeling like a spasm of physical ...
— The Christian - A Story • Hall Caine

... Scarce was the ladder reared to its full length than he had sprung already on the rounds; hand over hand, swift as an ape, he scaled the tottering stairway. Strong arms received, embraced, and helped him; he was lifted and set once more upon the earth; and with the spasm of his alarm yet unsubsided, found himself in the company of two rough-looking men, in the paved back yard of one of the tall houses that crowned the summit of the hill. Meanwhile, from below, the note of the bell had been succeeded by the sound ...
— The Dynamiter • Robert Louis Stevenson and Fanny van de Grift Stevenson

... time a horrible spasm of terror seized him. Had he forgotten? or was it all a mistake, and Anthony not there? He turned in his place, put his shoulders against the door and his feet against the woodwork of the stairs, and pushed steadily; there were one or two loud creaks, and the door ...
— By What Authority? • Robert Hugh Benson

... always unstable and liable to be upset. Evidence of mental unrest or fatigue, which is only rarely met with in grown persons and which then betokens serious disturbance of the mind, is of comparatively common occurrence in little children. Habit spasm, bed-wetting, sleep-walking, night terrors, and convulsions are symptoms which are frequent enough in children, and there is no need to be unduly alarmed at their occurrence. In adult age they are found only among ...
— The Nervous Child • Hector Charles Cameron

... faintly, and then his expression suddenly changed. Something like a spasm of fear and of pain shot quickly across his face, frightening her a little. Then ...
— The Wharf by the Docks - A Novel • Florence Warden

... was seized with an alarming spasm of pain. His black eyes opened widely and his face became ...
— The Green Eyes of Bast • Sax Rohmer

... effort to 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

... a little momentary confusion, then Violet goes to her own father and lies many moments with his feeble arms about her, until a slight spasm ...
— Floyd Grandon's Honor • Amanda Minnie Douglas

... her friends, an attack of 'apoplexy,' nor of paralysis. The head was symmetric, and without scars thereon. The pedal extremities involuntarily assumed various distorted positions and were constantly in motion. The toes were usually in a state of tonic spasm,—contracted, and drawn downward or extended, pointing upward, and slightly separated. Irregular alternate extension and flexion of the toes were marked. The feet were moved upon the ankles in a stiff and awkward manner. During these 'complex ...
— Anomalies and Curiosities of Medicine • George M. Gould

... longer now, for our colonel, in a spasm of sanitation, cut down this graceful swaying clump of striped bamboos for the fear that they harboured mosquitoes. As if these few canes mattered, when our hospital was on the banks of the reed-fringed ...
— Sketches of the East Africa Campaign • Robert Valentine Dolbey

... my dear,' gasped Ratia, sinking on the sofa in her spasm of mirth. 'At your reception ...
— Hopes and Fears - scenes from the life of a spinster • Charlotte M. Yonge

... not dance much at any time, but to-day he was not at all in the humor. He occupied himself in observing Hans, who spent the whole evening in worshipping his lady-love. A spasm shot through Ola's heart when he saw the light-green frock whirl away in his brother's arms, and it seemed to him that they ...
— Tales of Two Countries • Alexander Kielland

... chair as though undergoing a spasm of pain. The sentences smote him between the eyes of his sensibilities. Had it come to this, that his name was being bandied dishonorably about the barrooms of St. John's? If so, how ...
— The Harbor of Doubt • Frank Williams

... had had her worst spasm. We hung grimly on to the chute, dismally confident that something would have to give way soon. Suddenly there was a rending sound; the seam of the canvas ripped open and a gaping slit appeared, through which Cook's freed arm flapped wildly. Then the arm disappeared as the body to which it was ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 153, Nov. 14, 1917 • Various

... Ricardo stole a glance at Wethermill. How did he take the theory? Wethermill was leaning against the wall, his eyes closed, his face white and contorted with a spasm of pain. But he had the air of a man silently enduring an outrage rather than struck down by the conviction that the woman he loved ...
— At the Villa Rose • A. E. W. Mason

... original ruler of men. The world, in fact, had tried hard to put him down, as it does, unconsciously or, consciously, with all such; and after the most conscious exertions, and at one time a dead-lift spasm of all its energies for Seven Years, had not been able. Principalities and powers, Imperial, Royal, Czarish, Papal, enemies innumerable as the seasand, had risen against him, only one helper left among the world's ...
— History Of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. I. (of XXI.) - Frederick The Great—Birth And Parentage.—1712. • Thomas Carlyle

... In a certain spasm of reformation they had been purchased by James J. Early after a venture in his gambling schemes so surpassingly "lucky"—to quote himself—that he was almost shamed into decency by its magnitude. He even felt a thrill of compunction—a very brief ...
— Joyce's Investments - A Story for Girls • Fannie E. Newberry

... this question is usually not understood at all by those critics who presume to answer the question off-hand in a spasm of polemics. It is interesting, as an evidence of the shallowness of most contemporary dramatic criticism, to read over, in the course of Mr. Shaw's nimble essay on The Quintessence of Ibsenism, the collection which the author has made of the adverse notices of Ghosts ...
— The Theory of the Theatre • Clayton Hamilton

... of this further fighting, the men who had fondly hoped to be shortly on their way to Hyde Park Corner, suffered just then from a severe attack of heart-sickness, which was none other than a passing spasm of home-sickness! "Home, sweet home" sighed they, "and we never knew how sweet till now"! Meanwhile, however, we were wonderfully well supplied with home news, for within a single fortnight no less than ...
— With the Guards' Brigade from Bloemfontein to Koomati Poort and Back • Edward P. Lowry

... seemed to sting him, and the spasm of pain that for a moment convulsed his countenance, checked my indignation. "Happy are dreamers," he continued, "so that they be not awakened! Would I could dream! but 'broad and garish day' is the element in which ...
— The Last Man • Mary Shelley

... child was now overwhelmed with despair also, but remained utterly silent, as if the noisy demonstrations of his mother had shocked him, and made him ashamed of any manifestations on his own part. He was seized with a sort of nervous spasm. His mother took him in her arms. "No, no, dear child, I was only in jest; be sensible, dear. What! must I rock my long-legged boy as if he were a baby? No, little Jack, you never did me any harm. It is ...
— Jack - 1877 • Alphonse Daudet

... arise simply from irritation of the bowels excited from indigestion, it will be temporary, and the sign will go and come just as the spasm may occur, and slight remedial measures will ...
— The Maternal Management of Children, in Health and Disease. • Thomas Bull, M.D.

... From the interior of the cottage came the murmured gratitude of the peasants, broken at times by a wail of agony—the wail of a man. It is not a pleasant sound to hear. Catrina heard it, and it twisted her plain, strong face in a sudden spasm of sympathy. ...
— The Sowers • Henry Seton Merriman

... principle, as well as the highest possible expediency, it has been regarded as a fixed policy of the Government and the people, and has been suffered to do its excellent work quietly and undisturbed. The legislation introducing it was not an accident. It was not a spasm of generosity to the people; but it was a fixed purpose of the British public; the wise and only adequate means adapted to accomplish an important, an indispensable end. The first contract for carrying the mails in steamers, was made by the ...
— Ocean Steam Navigation and the Ocean Post • Thomas Rainey

... way now, sir," remarked the mate. "I noticed him beating up for the path as you brought up the Articles." Rolfe halted suddenly at the sound of grinding teeth and stared at the skipper in wonderment. But Barry cast off the spasm of rage and went ...
— Gold Out of Celebes • Aylward Edward Dingle

... least effort to do so usually brings on chronic spasms of the entire body. In very severe cases, a slight touch of the hand will develop the spasms. At times they are so severe, and have such short intermissions, that the disease has been mistaken for tetanus. However, the clonic nature of the spasm should prevent such an error. If they are lying down, it is difficult to get them to arise, and if they do so, they show marked symptoms of pain for some time ...
— Lameness of the Horse - Veterinary Practitioners' Series, No. 1 • John Victor Lacroix

... with the facts of the case for me to record that Wild Bill never answered the Old Trapper's very proper interrogation, but sat down on the floor and thrust his legs up in the air and yelled, and after the spasm left him he got up slowly, sat down in a chair, and looked at the Trapper with wet eyes and mouth ...
— Holiday Tales - Christmas in the Adirondacks • W. H. H. Murray

... true that at the period at which we have arrived the predominance of the grotesque over the sublime in literature is clearly indicated. But it is a spasm of reaction, an eager thirst for novelty, which is but temporary, it is an initial wave which gradually recedes. The type of the beautiful will soon resume its rights and its role, which is not to exclude the ...
— Prefaces and Prologues to Famous Books - with Introductions, Notes and Illustrations • Charles W. Eliot

... reached the corridor by this time. She was passing Richford with her head in the air. It came to him suddenly that he had lost everything, that he was baffled and beaten. In a sudden spasm of rage he caught the girl by the shoulders in a savage grip. She gave a little moan of pain as she looked around for assistance. It came ...
— The Slave of Silence • Fred M. White

... items were not what you might call stirring, and that the unpatented pages put him in mind of Jones's field in winter with a dozen chunks of coal dropped in the snow. And his observations on the later issues of the week (issues which were put forth with a suggestion of spasm, and possibly to the permanent injury of Mr. Parker's health, he looked so thin) were too cruelly unkind to be repeated here. Indeed, Mr. Fisbee, Parker, the luckless Mr. Schofield, and the young Tipworthy may be not untruthfully likened to ...
— The Gentleman From Indiana • Booth Tarkington

... amazement. Quickly he glanced at his chum, to see that Frank had gone deadly white, and his eyes glittered with sudden spasm of pain that ...
— The Boys of Columbia High on the Gridiron • Graham B. Forbes

... just as Frederic the Second stood for Prussia. I will make her the great Power of the world, so that every monarch in Europe will find it necessary to keep a palace in Paris, and they will all come to hold the train at the coronation of my descendants—' a spasm of pain passed suddenly over his face. 'My God! for whom am I building? Who will be my descendants?' I heard him mutter, and he passed ...
— Uncle Bernac - A Memory of the Empire • Arthur Conan Doyle

... London, on the sea-coast of Bohemia, or away on 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 ...
— The Art of Writing and Other Essays • Robert Louis Stevenson

... reason of his utterly stupefied condition. He was in a state when he no longer had interest for his companions. He rolled about blear-eyed and hopelessly mumbling, with a half-emptied glass in his hand, which he waved about uncertainly. Suddenly an impotent spasm of rage seemed to take hold of him. With a hoarse curse he raised his glass and hurled it crashing against the wall. Then, with a wild, prolonged whoop he shouted the result of his ...
— The Golden Woman - A Story of the Montana Hills • Ridgwell Cullum

... 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 ...
— My Boyhood • John Burroughs

... more stubborn or successful than Te Waharoa, a fighting chief whose long life of warfare contains in it many stirring episodes of his times. Born in 1773 in a village near the upper Thames, he owed his life, when two years old, to a spasm of pity in the heart of a victorious chief from the Hot Lakes. This warrior and his tribe sacked the pa of Te Waharoa's father, and killed nearly all therein. The conqueror saw a pretty boy crying among the ashes of his mother's hut, and struck with the child's face, took him up and ...
— The Long White Cloud • William Pember Reeves



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



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