Larry's Pretty Good Word of the Day (prettygoodword) wrote in 1word1day,
Larry's Pretty Good Word of the Day
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Thursday word: convulsion

Over on my journal, I've been running a theme week of words that are prefix + -vulsion, all of which stem from the Latin verb vellere, meaning to pluck/pull violently. Here's another of that family:


convulsion (kon-VUHL-shuhn) - n., an intense, involuntary contraction of muscles; an uncontrolled fit (as of laughter), a paroxysm; a violent upheaval, disturbance, or agitation, esp. a social one.


The meaning, when it introduced around 1547, was a cramp or spasm, which makes sense given the prefix con-, a variant of com- in front of some consonants (related to cum, with), means together -- so a sudden pulling together, which intensified is a paroxysm.

Earthquakes and other convulsions of nature shake Earth on a regular basis.

---L.
Tags: c, latin, noun
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