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 cough." The word "paroxysm" comes from the Greek "para-," during + "oxys," sharp or acute. The root "oxys" was also used by the founder of modern chemistry Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier (1743-94) to coin the word "oxygen."
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1. A sharp spasm or convulsion. 2. A sudden onset of a symptom or disease, especially one with recurrent manifestations such as the chills and rigor of malaria. [G. paroxysmos, fr. paroxyno, to sharpen, irritate, fr. oxys, sharp]

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par·ox·ysm 'par-ək-.siz-əmalso pə-'räk- n
1) a sudden attack or spasm (as of a disease)
2) a sudden recurrence of symptoms or an intensification of existing symptoms <pain occurred in frequent \paroxysms (Therapeutic Notes)>

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n.
1. a sudden violent attack, especially a spasm or convulsion.
2. the abrupt worsening of symptoms or recurrence of disease.
paroxysmal adj.

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par·ox·ysm (parґok-siz-əm) [Gr. paroxysmos] 1. a sudden recurrence or intensification of symptoms. 2. a spasm or seizure.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Synonyms:
(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 — 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

  • paroxysm — 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… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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