Dictonary.netDictonary.net
Synonyms, antonyms, pronunciation

  Home
English Dictionary      examples: 'day', 'get rid of', 'New York Bay'




Convulsion   /kənvˈəlʃən/   Listen
Convulsion

noun
1.
A sudden uncontrollable attack.  Synonyms: fit, paroxysm.  "A fit of coughing" , "Convulsions of laughter"
2.
Violent uncontrollable contractions of muscles.
3.
A violent disturbance.  Synonyms: turmoil, upheaval.
4.
A physical disturbance such as an earthquake or upheaval.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








Advanced search
     Find words:
Starting with
Ending with
Containing
Matching a pattern  

Synonyms
Antonyms
Quotes
Words linked to  

only single words



Share |





"Convulsion" Quotes from Famous Books



... the playwright. "It took a convulsion of nature to make Jack take a bath, and the United States Army to make him ...
— Toaster's Handbook - Jokes, Stories, and Quotations • Peggy Edmund & Harold W. Williams, compilers

... compounded from materials, the secret of which had been one of the proudest heir-looms of that able and evil race which gave to Italy her wisest and guiltiest tyrants. Its operation was quick yet not sudden: it produced no pain,—it left on the form no grim convulsion, on the skin no purpling spot, to arouse suspicion; you might have cut and carved every membrane and fibre of the corpse, but the sharpest eyes of the leech would not have detected the presence of the subtle life-queller. For twelve hours the victim felt nothing save a joyous and elated exhilaration ...
— Zanoni • Edward Bulwer Lytton

... known, even when the hand of death had taken a brother and sister from among them. It was not grief but a wild kind of dread, slight it is true, but distinct in its character, and not dissimilar to that fear which falls upon the spirits during one of those glooms that precede some dark and awful convulsion of nature. Her father remained up, as we have said, longer than the rest, and in the silence which succeeded their retirement for the night, his voice could be occasionally heard in deep and earnest supplication. It was evident that he had ...
— Jane Sinclair; Or, The Fawn Of Springvale - The Works of William Carleton, Volume Two • William Carleton

... was so strange and so violent, that there suddenly took place in him that indescribable movement, which no man feels more than two or three times in the course of his life, a sort of convulsion of the conscience which stirs up all that there is doubtful in the heart, which is composed of irony, of joy, and of despair, and which may be called an outburst of ...
— Les Miserables - Complete in Five Volumes • Victor Hugo

... passed thus over our heads there ensued disgust and mournful silence, followed by a terrible convulsion. For to formulate general ideas is to change saltpeter into powder, and the Homeric brain of the great Goethe had sucked up, as an alembic, all the juice of the forbidden fruit. Those who did not read him did not believe ...
— The Confession of a Child of The Century • Alfred de Musset

... the passing generations of men—and it can without convulsion be hushed forever with the passing of ...
— A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents: Lincoln - Section 1 (of 2) of Volume 6: Abraham Lincoln • Compiled by James D. Richardson

... hesitate to deprecate the untoward influence of these "self-created societies" and to condemn those "combinations of men, who, careless of consequences, and disregarding the unerring truth that those who rouse cannot always appease a civil convulsion, have disseminated, from an ignorance or perversion of facts, suspicions, jealousies, and accusations of the whole Government." The Democratic societies now fell into disrepute and did not long survive their great prototype, the Jacobin Club ...
— Union and Democracy • Allen Johnson

... probably, like so many other things that occur to us in this sublunary stage, a delusion. The bystander mistakes for a spontaneous contention and unwillingness to die, what is in reality nothing more than an involuntary contraction and convulsion of the nerves, to which the mind is no party, and is even very probably unconscious.—But enough of this, the final and most humiliating state through which mortal men may be called ...
— Thoughts on Man - His Nature, Productions and Discoveries, Interspersed with - Some Particulars Respecting the Author • William Godwin

... in a corner of the tent. She held the metal mirror so as to conceal her face from the captain of the watch, put the little flask to her lips and emptied it at one mouthful. The mirror fell from her hand, she staggered, a deadly convulsion seized her—the officer rushed forward, and while she fixed her dying look upon ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... an amazed and horrified departure did Saxon fling herself on the bed in a convulsion of tears. She had been ashamed, before, merely of Billy's inhospitality, and surliness, and unfairness. But she could see, now, the light in which others looked on the affair. It had not entered ...
— The Valley of the Moon • Jack London

... story in the stern self-command of brow, and the slight convulsion of feature, which all the self-command could not prevent. He returned warmly the grasp of the hand, answering merely, "I will ...
— Queechy, Volume I • Elizabeth Wetherell

... India a hundred years since enabled the English to lay the foundations of their power in that country so broadly and so deep that nothing short of a moral convulsion can uproot them, though the edifice erected upon them may be rudely shaken by internal revolts, or by the consequences of external wars. Fifty years sooner or forty years later, the English could have made no impression on India as conquerors. Seventy years before the conquest ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. I, No. 1, Nov. 1857 • Various

... remainder of Europe there was nothing to compare with the momentous convulsion which had taken place in France. England had gone through its two revolutions more than a century before, and its people were the freest of any in Europe. Recently it had lost its colonies in America, but it still held in that continent the broad domain of Canada, ...
— A History of The Nations and Empires Involved and a Study - of the Events Culminating in The Great Conflict • Logan Marshall

... Randle had been fascinated, held by the swift interchange between her friend and enemy. But now she had a convulsion of fear. She had seen men fight, but never to the death. Roberts crouched like a wolf at bay. There was a madness upon him. He shook like a rippling leaf. Suddenly his ...
— The Border Legion • Zane Grey

... would never do. To hear his voice on the telephone would throw her into a convulsion. He didn't believe she stood for that spirit foolishness, but if, by any chance, she had been won over, his voice would surely give her some sort of ...
— The Come Back • Carolyn Wells

... young girl, at the doctor's loudly-uttered command, arose from her couch and paced the room with firm and steady steps. It is true she uttered a piercing cry, and fell at the feet of the doctor, her limbs quivering as though she were seized with convulsion, but gradually she grew more quiet; a peaceful expression beamed from her features, and she commenced talking in a tone of joyous enthusiasm. She spoke of the wonderful world on which she was gazing with her inward eyes, of the visions which burst on ...
— NAPOLEON AND BLUCHER • L. Muhlbach

... own heart, and then her eyes lifted up as it were to heaven, we saw she mixed prayers for the little mourner, with intercessions for herself, till sense and motion seemed to fail her; she then fell into a convulsion, and expired. ...
— A Description of Millenium Hall • Sarah Scott

... was lashed into ungovernable fury; but it was between Moskoe and the coast that the main uproar held its sway. Here the vast bed of the waters, seamed and scarred into a thousand conflicting channels, burst suddenly into phrensied convulsion—heaving, boiling, hissing—gyrating in gigantic and innumerable vortices, and all whirling and plunging on to the eastward with a rapidity which water never elsewhere ...
— The Works of Edgar Allan Poe - Volume 2 (of 5) of the Raven Edition • Edgar Allan Poe

... tried to laugh; but it was no laugh, but a convulsion. She struggled to say, "I shall do very well presently, when I feel I am free. It is only the last prison airs that poison me. If we ...
— The Billow and the Rock • Harriet Martineau

... indelibly branded—but as a people, they were worthy of their traditions and their hereditary honor. With rocking crash and ruin all around her, the grand old commonwealth, scathed by the storm and shaken by the resistless convulsion, still towered erect and proud to the last, and fell only when the entire land had given away beneath her. Two strange features characterized the temper of the Southern people in the last days of the Confederacy. Crushed and dispirited as they were, they still seemed unable to realize the fact ...
— History of Morgan's Cavalry • Basil W. Duke

... hardly any vitality, so benumbed were they by the icy chill that had entered into the very marrow of his bones. Nor did he for a long while recover from this excessive rigor; his limbs still continued at intervals to twitch and shudder as with a convulsion, nor could he at such times at all control their trembling. At last, however, with a huge sigh, he aroused himself to some perception of his surroundings, which he acknowledged were of as dispiriting a sort as he could well have conceived of. ...
— Stolen Treasure • Howard Pyle

... Lillian Gale's voice rang out like a trumpet. "The baby is not dead. It is in a convulsion. Give it to me and run back to your apartment and bring me some ...
— Revelations of a Wife - The Story of a Honeymoon • Adele Garrison

... spoke that odd spark of ferocity dilated in his eyes, and seizing the largest of his modeling tools, he obliterated at one swoop the whole exquisite face. Poor Gertrude turned ashy white, and a convulsion passed over her face.... ...
— Hauntings • Vernon Lee

... which he had no knowledge, or give himself accomplices when he had none. Hearing these words, the provost-marshal signed to the executioner and retired himself to the inner room. At that fatal sign Christophe's brows contracted, his forehead worked with nervous convulsion, as he prepared himself to suffer. His hands closed with such violence that the nails entered the flesh without his feeling them. Three men seized him, took him to the camp bed and laid him there, letting his legs hang ...
— Catherine de' Medici • Honore de Balzac

... was so affected as at his having fallen a victim to this complaint. It carried a conviction to my mind that he never could have recovered. I knew that it was the most interesting and fatal malady in the world; and I wrung the gentleman's hand in a convulsion of respectful admiration, for I felt that this explanation did equal honour to his head ...
— The Letters of Charles Dickens - Vol. 3 (of 3), 1836-1870 • Charles Dickens

... to an end This orbit so smoothly begun, Unless some convulsion attend?" I often said. "What will be done When it ...
— Moments of Vision • Thomas Hardy

... stumble into a man from Bagdad as from Boston. One can stand in the middle of it and with his westerly ear catch the argot of Gotham and with his easterly all the dialects of Damascus. And if through some unexpected convulsion of Nature 51 Broadway should topple over, Mr. Zimmerman, the stockbroker, whose office is on the sixth story, might easily fall clear of the Greek restaurant in the corner of Greenwich Street, roll twenty-five ...
— By Advice of Counsel • Arthur Train

... took great pains to invent a local habitation for this wonderful tree; and at last they, pretty generally, came to the conclusion, that the vast peninsula of Southern Hindostan had at one time extended as far as the Maldives, but by some great convulsion of nature, the intermediate part between those islands and Cape Comorin had sunk beneath the waters of the ocean; that the tree or trees had grown thereon, and still continued to grow on the submerged soil; and the nuts when ripe, being lighter than water, rose to the surface, ...
— Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 443 - Volume 17, New Series, June 26, 1852 • Various

... class have it in their power so to mould this change as to render it peaceful, gradual and universally beneficent; or they can turn a deaf ear to the calls of humanity, and let the demagogue, the envious, the selfishly discontented, pervert it into an engine of convulsion, destruction and desolation. As in the days of King John, the barons laid the foundations of English political liberty, so in our day the intellectual and philanthropic may guide the car of progress, and in establishing industrial harmony ...
— Brook Farm • John Thomas Codman

... thing like that! How rude!" says Mrs. Chichester, going off into a little convulsion of ...
— The Hoyden • Mrs. Hungerford

... rumbling of the earth went on; it sounded as if the world were turning herself over, and thrashing to and fro in a fit of anger; before every convulsion she uttered a roar which seemed as if it came from a metal ball bowled along a giant alley beneath. It reached its climax by trilling the letter R-r-r-r-r! in a mighty voice. Then came ...
— A Lost Hero • Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward and Herbert D. Ward

... have with us, and as for me, I am inclined to think that it will remain, flood or no flood, for any creature that has successfully withstood a campaign against it by King Ptush cannot be removed from the scene by anything short of a convulsion of Nature. ...
— The Autobiography of Methuselah • John Kendrick Bangs

... sign the Constitution, might do infinite mischief by kindling the latent sparks that lurk under an enthusiasm in favour of the Convention which may soon subside. No man's ideas were more remote from the plan than his own were known to be; but is it possible to deliberate between anarchy and convulsion on one side, and the chance of good to be expected from the plan on the other? This discussion concluded, the Convention voted that its journal and other papers should be retained by the President, subject to the order of Congress.] The members then proceeded to sign the Constitution as finally ...
— Civil Government in the United States Considered with - Some Reference to Its Origins • John Fiske

... frail and ill, and it depresses Oliver. And I am here!—useless—and helpless. Oh, why can't I go?—why can't I go?" She laid her face upon her arms, on the bench, hiding it from him; but he saw the convulsion of her whole frame. ...
— The Testing of Diana Mallory • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... can be little doubt that Peter had madness in his veins. He was a degenerate and an epileptic, subject to brain storms which terrified all who witnessed them. "A sort of convulsion seized him, which often for hours threw him into a most distressing condition. His body was violently contorted; his face distorted into horrible grimaces; and he was further subject to paroxysms of rage, during which it was ...
— Love affairs of the Courts of Europe • Thornton Hall

... hero's epileptic fits are described as only an epileptic could describe them, more convincingly than even so able a writer as Mr. De Morgan diagnoses them in "An Affair of Dishonour." Dostoevski makes the convulsion come unexpectedly; Mr. De Morgan uses the fit as a kind of moral punctuation point. The author's sensations when under condemnation of death and expecting the immediate catastrophe are also minutely given from his own never paling recollection. ...
— Essays on Russian Novelists • William Lyon Phelps

... our habitudes, may produce the most distressing effects. The best of remedies must be cautiously applied, and suited to the state and constitution of the patient; otherwise, what is intended to cure, may produce convulsion. The late elections have shown that the measures proposed by Government are repugnant to the feelings and habitudes or disastrous to the interests of great portions of our fellow citizens. They should not, then, be forced home with rigor. Ours is a government of compromise. We have ...
— Washington Irving • Henry W. Boynton

... as she lay there my soul felt assured that she was not dead, and an unutterable convulsion of sorrow overwhelmed me. Therefore I fainted. The horror of that situation was too much for me. To think of that angelic girl about to be covered up alive in the ground; to think of that sweet young life, which had begun so brightly, terminating amidst ...
— Cord and Creese • James de Mille

... every revolutionary movement in Paris thrills throughout the rest of the world. Even the successes which the powers allied against France gained in 1814 and 1815, important as they were, could not annul the effects of the preceding twenty-three years of general convulsion and war. ...
— The Fifteen Decisive Battles of The World From Marathon to Waterloo • Sir Edward Creasy, M.A.

... didn't say anything, but when the other two had made their pretty speeches she doubled up in a silent convulsion of mirth, shaking her head from side to side and beating the air with ...
— Lucy Maud Montgomery Short Stories, 1909 to 1922 • Lucy Maud Montgomery

... boiled, seething as if possessed. Then, with a fearful convulsion, the waves parted and the water gave up its prey. Two choking, gasping, spluttering heads appeared simultaneously: with one accord four striving paws clawed desperately at the rim of the ...
— Anthony Lyveden • Dornford Yates

... and disregarding it, at any rate during the hours of convivial session. The Club is troubled to note that in the intolerable rabies and confusion of this business life men meet merely in a kind of convulsion or horrid passion of haste and perplexity. We see, ever and often, those in whose faces we discern delightful and considerable secrets, messages of just import, grotesque mirth, or improving sadness. In their bearing and gesture, even in hours of haste and irritation, the Club (with ...
— Plum Pudding - Of Divers Ingredients, Discreetly Blended & Seasoned • Christopher Morley

... what are now, perhaps, its chief attractions. The lovely bay and the awful mountain were indeed there. But a farmhouse stood on the theatre of Herculaneum, and rows of vines grew over the streets of Pompeii. The temples of Paestum had not indeed been hidden from the eye of man by any great convulsion of nature; but, strange to say, their existence was a secret even to artists and antiquaries. Though situated within a few hours' journey of a great capital, where Salvator had not long before painted, and where Vico was then lecturing, those noble remains were as little known to Europe ...
— Critical and Historical Essays, Volume III (of 3) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... Atala was seized with a convulsion which shook all her body. In wild agony, she cried: 'Oh, it is too late, it is too late! I thought my mother's spirit would come and drag me down to hell if I broke my vow. I took poison with me, Chactas, when I fled with you. I ...
— The Worlds Greatest Books - Vol. II: Fiction • Arthur Mee, J. A. Hammerton, Eds.

... or wrong in Kipling was expressed in the final convulsion that he almost in person managed to achieve. The nearest that any honest man can come to the thing called "impartiality" is to confess that he is partial. I therefore confess that I think this last turn of ...
— The Victorian Age in Literature • G. K. Chesterton

... Europe, the feudalism which had lost Canada to France was in its mortal throes. The shock of the French Revolution was quivering through the hemisphere, and the convulsion was felt heavily in the New World. In the United States, Washington was President, Hamilton was at the Treasury, and Jefferson was Secretary of State, with Madison as a colleague in the Cabinet. In the early stages of the Revolution the United States had ...
— Old Quebec - The Fortress of New France • Sir Gilbert Parker and Claude Glennon Bryan

... are many races to the northward which we consider as Caffre races. You may have observed, in the history of the world, that the migrations of the human race are generally from the north to the south: so it appears to have been in Africa. Some convulsion among the northern tribes, probably a pressure from excessive population, had driven the Zoolus to the southward, and they came down like an inundation, sweeping before them all the tribes that fell in their path. Chaka's force consisted of nearly 100,000 warriors, of whom ...
— The Mission • Frederick Marryat

... cornice with apprehension of what might follow. Would it be a thunderbolt, a plague, some frightful convulsion of Nature? He felt sure that Fakrash would hesitate at no means, however violent, of burying all traces of his blunder in oblivion, and very little hope that, whatever he did, it would prove anything but some worse ...
— The Brass Bottle • F. Anstey

... a convulsion of fiercely antagonized passions, Vandine sat down on the edge of the bank and waited stupidly. About the same moment Sarah looked out of the cottage door in wonder to see why the mill had ...
— Earth's Enigmas - A Volume of Stories • Charles G. D. Roberts

... races have not yet made new mores. Vain attempts have been made to control the new order by legislation. The only result is the proof that legislation cannot make mores. We see also that mores do not form under social convulsion and discord. It is only just now that the new society seems to be taking shape. There is a trend in the mores now as they begin to form under the new state of things. It is not at all what the humanitarians hoped ...
— Folkways - A Study of the Sociological Importance of Usages, Manners, Customs, Mores, and Morals • William Graham Sumner

... divine performances. The roads from Lyons, Poictiers, Dijon, and Paris were well known, and frequently trodden by both artists and merchants as well as by soldiers. The Renaissance, therefore, was no sudden convulsion. Perhaps a very careful examination of some of our Burgundian MSS. might reveal the presence of notions derived from Italian travel, for it is in the details of ornament that we find the traces of a new movement, and when the great change of style ...
— Illuminated Manuscripts • John W. Bradley

... with something she's eaten—and I was there with her ten minutes per'aps, and when I came back I found your Father in a fit. A convulsion, the doctor says it was; he said all along he might have them, but I thought he was better. And he's had another this evening, and he hasn't come round out of it right. He ...
— The Combined Maze • May Sinclair

... Wheresoever the lake was shallow enough to allow of men raising their heads above the water, there for scores of acres were to be seen all forms of ghastly fear, of agonizing struggle, of spasm, of convulsion, of mortal conflict, death, and the fear of death—revenge, and the lunacy of revenge—hatred, and the frenzy of hatred—until the neutral spectators, of whom there were not a few, now descending the eastern side of the lake, at length averted their eyes in ...
— Narrative And Miscellaneous Papers • Thomas De Quincey

... the two Texas men, looked grimly at each other, and tried not to laugh. Edward Morris had his attention attracted by the third link in the chain of the captain's chandelier. Watrous was seized with a convulsion of sneezing. Nolan himself saw that something was to pay, he did not know what. And I, as master of ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 12, No. 74, December, 1863 • Various

... We-lo-lon-nan-nai sat himself down under the rocky ledge at the entrance to the mighty gap in the range, and, lighting his pipe, directed the smoke of the fragrant kin-nik-i-nik toward the heavens. Suddenly there was a terrible convulsion of the earth, and immediately there burst forth fountains of hot water and mud mounds, where before there was not the ...
— The Great Salt Lake Trail • Colonel Henry Inman

... burnt human face: and with the odious writhings of a wasp creeping out of a rotten apple there clambered forth an appearance of a form, waving black arms prepared to clasp the head that was bending over them. With a convulsion of despair Humphreys threw himself back, struck his head against a hanging ...
— Ghost Stories of an Antiquary - Part 2: More Ghost Stories • Montague Rhodes James

... hiaqua. This he strung on elk's sinews—enough of it to make him the richest of men. Then he hurried to depart. But he left no thank-offering to the tanahnawas powers. Thereupon the whole earth shook with a mighty convulsion, and the mountain shot forth terrible fires, which melted the snows and poured floods down the slopes, where they were turned to ice again by the breath of the storm-god. And above the roar of torrents and the crash of thunder, {p.038} Miser heard the voices of all the tamahnawas, ...
— The Mountain that was 'God' • John H. Williams

... neither a fool nor a madman, your excellency; suffering has robbed him of speech, and he laughs, not in derision, but from the convulsion of intense sorrow." ...
— The Merchant of Berlin - An Historical Novel • L. Muhlbach

... different tables, and in the midst of a medley of boxes and parcels; but that was part of the fun of the occasion, and added to the general hilarity. A formal meal in the dining-room could be had any day, but it needed a convulsion of Nature to induce Mrs Rendell to hold her plate in her lap, and actually—oh, horrors! to help herself to butter with her own individual knife! The girls chuckled with delight at the spectacle, and then turned to greet ...
— A Houseful of Girls • Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey

... from end to end of the ship. Beyond the headland a great gap was visible a quarter of a mile wide, as if the cliffs had been rent in sunder by some tremendous convulsion, and a fiord was seen stretching away in the bosom of the hills as far as the eye could reach. The Dragon's head was turned, and soon she was flying before the wind up the inlet. A mile farther and the fiord widened to a lake some two miles across between steep hills clothed ...
— The Dragon and the Raven - or, The Days of King Alfred • G. A. Henty

... and enveloped us, which considerably added to our trials. Our efforts to get on after we left Kachi at 21,000 feet were desperate, our lungs in convulsion as if about to burst, our pulses hastened, our hearts throbbing (mine being ordinarily very regular) as if they would beat themselves out of our bodies. Exhausted and seized by irresistible drowsiness, the Rongba and I nevertheless at last reached the ...
— In the Forbidden Land • Arnold Henry Savage Landor

... paradox and puzzle. They have described the Irish people at the time as under the spell of something like sorcery. Even in our own days, Mr. Gladstone, in a speech delivered to the House of Commons, treated the convulsion caused by Swift's letters and Wood's halfpence as an outbreak of national frenzy, called up by the witchery of style displayed in the "Drapier's Letters." To some of us it is, on the other hand, a matter of surprise to see how capable writers, and especially how a ...
— A History of the Four Georges, Volume I (of 4) • Justin McCarthy

... war which destroyed slavery the two races emerged together into the midst of vast changes. The old social structure had been disrupted in the civil convulsion, and the old political order likewise. The slave half of the national house had tumbled about former masters and slaves. The slave race possessed no more and knew no more as freedmen than they had possessed or known as slaves. Yes, they possessed themselves ...
— The Ultimate Criminal - The American Negro Academy. Occasional Papers No. 17 • Archibald H. Grimke

... Christian Law of God had been found a thing of battle, convulsion, confusion, an infinitely difficult thing: wherefore let us now abandon it, and govern only by so much of God's Christian Law as—as may prove quiet and convenient for us. What is the end of Government? To guide ...
— Past and Present - Thomas Carlyle's Collected Works, Vol. XIII. • Thomas Carlyle

... the whole sea, as far as Vurrgh, was lashed into ungovernable fury; but it was between Moskoe and the coast that the main uproar held its sway. Here the vast bed of the waters, seamed and scarred into a thousand conflicting channels, burst suddenly into frenzied convulsion—heaving, boiling, hissing—gyrating in gigantic and innumerable vortices, and all whirling and plunging on to the eastward with a rapidity which water never elsewhere ...
— Selections From Poe • J. Montgomery Gambrill

... this rock marked the farthest extent of the slip, or slide of earth, and that, could he but round the angle of which it was the termination, he might hope to attain the continuation of the path which had been so strangely interrupted by this convulsion of nature. But the crag jutted out so much as to afford no possibility of passing either under or around it; and as it rose several feet above the position which Arthur had attained, it was no easy matter to climb over ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 13, - Issue 371, May 23, 1829 • Various

... fortress was, probably, almost impregnable in the days of its strength and glory. The outer part of it was built on a precipitous projection of cliff, three hundred feet high, which must have been wrenched away from the mainland by some tremendous convulsion of Nature. The inner part stood on the opposite side of the chasm formed by this convulsion; and both divisions of the fortress were formerly connected by a draw-bridge. The most interesting portion of the few ruins now remaining, is that on the outermost ...
— Rambles Beyond Railways; - or, Notes in Cornwall taken A-foot • Wilkie Collins

... convulsion shook his sinewy frame from head to foot, and he writhed in desperate agony. The officer put an arm under his head, and made an expressive sign to the awed witnesses of the scene. Helmsley, startled at this, came hurriedly forward, ...
— The Treasure of Heaven - A Romance of Riches • Marie Corelli

... of whom I spake;—he was alone, And pale and pacing to and fro: anon He sate him down, and seized a pen, and traced Words which I could not guess of; then he leaned His bow'd head on his hands, and shook as 'twere With a convulsion—then arose again, And with his teeth and quivering hands did tear What he had written, but he shed no tears. And he did calm himself, and fix his brow Into a kind of quiet; as he paused, The lady of his love re-entered there; She was serene and smiling ...
— Abbotsford and Newstead Abbey • Washington Irving

... anything dreamed of in the days of its nominal independence, is not enviable to us. It were to be wished that they had been cured of the regular—or irregular—spasms of selecting a chief without losing their national autonomy. What we remark is, that the strain of that convulsion was greater than they or their neighbors could bear, and that all concerned, with the trifling exceptions named, must have breathed freer and deeper when it was put ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Volume 22. July, 1878. • Various

... they took revenge on nobody." A new seigneur of Nohant, coming to take possession, and thinking to levy his utmost dues, in cash and in kind, found his rustic tenants turn a deaf ear to his summons. Ere he could insist the storm burst, but it brought no convulsion, and merely confirmed an ...
— Famous Women: George Sand • Bertha Thomas

... the South American continent there is a vast table-land nearly as large as the great Mississippi valley, that some titanic convulsion has boosted up nearly three miles in the air. This great plateau is hemmed in by mountains, the coast range on the west and the main range ...
— Birdseye Views of Far Lands • James T. Nichols

... Editor of the British Review, on the charge of bribery in Don Juan. Than this inimitable epistle no more laughter-compelling composition exists. About the same time, we hear of his leaving the theatre in a convulsion of tears, occasioned by the representation of ...
— Byron • John Nichol

... straight in front of her. Gwen would have been frightened at her look, but she caught sight of a tear running down her face, and felt that this was, for the moment, the best that might be. That tear reassured her. She might safely leave the convulsion that had caused it to subside. If only the sleeper in the next room would remain asleep ...
— When Ghost Meets Ghost • William Frend De Morgan

... decaying productions of the mind, embodied with the happiest art, we grieve most bitterly. The view of what has been done by man, produces a melancholy, yet aggrandizing, sense of what remains to be achieved by human intellect; but a mental convulsion, which, like the devastation of an earthquake, throws all the elements of thought and imagination into confusion, makes contemplation giddy, and we fearfully ask on what ...
— Posthumous Works - of the Author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman • Mary Wollstonecraft

... metaphysical systems, and, above all, the working of secret societies, have caused, the reading of the history of England and Ireland, from the Reformation down, offers new sources of interest, by showing how the last frightful convulsion in France was merely a copy of the first in England, at least as far as the means employed in each go, if not in ...
— Irish Race in the Past and the Present • Aug. J. Thebaud

... grandfather, along with his eight sons, formed the last relic in our province of that race of petty feudal tyrants by which France had been overrun and harassed for so many centuries. Civilization, already advancing rapidly towards the great convulsion of the Revolution, was gradually stamping out the systematic extortions of these robbers. The light of education, a species of good taste reflected, however dimly, from a polished court, and perhaps a presentiment of the impending terrible awakening of the people, were spreading ...
— Mauprat • George Sand

... coming the day before election. Don't even expect to see any excitement in the morning. We don't smear our school election troubles all over the almanac. We have the convulsion quickly and get over it. You could stray into Homeburg on the morning of a school election and not suspect that anything was going on except, perhaps, a general funeral. Absolute quiet reigns. People are attending to business with the ...
— Homeburg Memories • George Helgesen Fitch

... frightfulest objects to see steering in a difficult sea! Reformed Parliaments in that case, reform-leagues, outer agitations and excitements in never such abundance, cannot profit: all this is but the writhing, and painful blind convulsion of the limbs that are in bonds, that are all in dark misery till the head be delivered, till the pressure on the brain ...
— Latter-Day Pamphlets • Thomas Carlyle

... which the Cyclopean Isles are composed are entirely of volcanic origin, and it is far from improbable that they may have at one time been attached to Sicily, and severed from it by some great volcanic convulsion. A careful examination of these large piles of basaltic columns led Dr. Daubeny to the conclusion, that the lavas from which they have been formed were consolidated under great pressure, and probably at the bottom ...
— Wonders of Creation • Anonymous

... in scorn, his finger raised, "This was the boon of Scotland's king;" And, with a quick and angry fling, Tossing the pageant screen away, The dead man's head before him lay. Unmoved he scann'd the visage o'er, The clotted locks were dark with gore, The features with convulsion grim, The eyes contorted, sunk, and dim. But unappall'd, in angry mood, With lowering brow, unmoved he stood. Upon the head his bared right hand He laid, the other grasp'd his brand: Then kneeling, ...
— A Legend of Montrose • Sir Walter Scott

... of Holland and Flanders waxed, daily, stronger. A great physical convulsion in the course of the thirteenth century came to add its influence to the slower process of political revolution. Hitherto there had been but one Friesland, including Holland, and nearly all the territory ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... to be wondered that after this harangue Lord Rip sank into a chair, a hideous convulsion upon his ...
— The Hohenzollerns in America - With the Bolsheviks in Berlin and other impossibilities • Stephen Leacock

... gasped the invalid; and at that moment his face looked as if he had become suddenly insane. An involuntary epileptic convulsion shook his limbs. He fell from the bed, but sprang at the same instant to his feet again, flung himself like an angry lion upon Henry, caught him by the throat, and cried with the voice ...
— The Nameless Castle • Maurus Jokai

... Ailie, who was half frightened, half amused at the sudden convulsion caused by her favourite's bad conduct, "don't be vexed; see, here is a little bit of my biscuit; I don't want ...
— The Red Eric • R.M. Ballantyne

... temper and belief, they were formed to find their element in such a decent and whiggish convulsion, spectacular in its course, moderate ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson, Volume 9 • Robert Louis Stevenson

... sounding-lines we found that the water was deep, right up to the very rocks, and that no shelving shores prevented us coasting along them. There was not a shadow of doubt as to the rock being of purely volcanic origin, up- heaved by some mighty subterranean convulsion. It is formed of blocks of basalt, arranged in perfect order, of which the regular prisms give the whole mass the effect of being one gigantic crystal; and the remarkable transparency of the sea enabled us plainly to observe the curious ...
— The Survivors of the Chancellor • Jules Verne

... moved towards the fire, and knelt before it—though she had no need of warmth. Starts and shudders indicated her mental anguish. Yet no sound escape her, until, in a sudden convulsion of her frame, she gave a cry of terror, and threw herself at full length upon the ground. There she lay, struggling with hysterical passion, half choked by sobs, now and then uttering a hoarse wail, at length weeping with the self-abandonment of ...
— Denzil Quarrier • George Gissing

... our conditions. Thus it seems probable, that, as the first revolution brought about our industrial independence of the mother-country, not preventing us in any way from still availing ourselves of the skill of her trained artisans, so this second civil convulsion will complete that intellectual independence towards which we have been growing, without cutting us off from whatever in knowledge or art is the common property of Republics ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 13, No. 78, April, 1864 • Various

... seized with so violent a convulsion of laughter at the idea of such absurd folly as Beechnut had described, that he tumbled off the bannisters, but fortunately he fell in, towards the stairs, and was very little hurt. He came down the stairs to Malleville, and as Beechnut returned in a few minutes ...
— Mary Erskine • Jacob Abbott

... Down it came with almost the speed and force of the electric fluid. A deep, dull, heavy sound was heard, as it was plunged into the yielding flesh, and the hot gushing blood spirted forth in a quick jet into the very face and mouth of the fell murderer. A terrible convulsion, a fierce writhing spasm followed—so strong, so muscularly powerful, that the stern gripe of Cataline was shaken from the throat of his victim, and from ...
— The Roman Traitor (Vol. 1 of 2) • Henry William Herbert

... widow was no more. I cannot imagine when she died. During the four hours of our passage from the wreck to land, her head rested on my lap; yet no spasm of pain or convulsion marked ...
— Captain Canot - or, Twenty Years of an African Slaver • Brantz Mayer

... muttered, as he stumbled on in the dark. He was oversuspicious. But how else could the facts be explained? Such deaths, he knew, did not occur to men in Preston's condition,—calm, easy deaths, without the agony of convulsion. No, it must be. Science was stronger than desire, than character, than human imagination. To disbelieve his scientific knowledge would be to deny the ...
— The Web of Life • Robert Herrick

... more, but she walked up from the field holding tightly to her father's poor, worn hand, and her heart was in a tumult. To behold any convulsion of nature is no light experience, and when it is a storm of the spirit in one beloved the beholder is swept along with it in greater or less measure. Ellen trembled as she walked. Her father kept looking at her anxiously and remorsefully. ...
— The Portion of Labor • Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

... mischief which could not fail to add to the uneasiness of the responsible servants of the Crown. A general election stirred up other noxious ingredients, and during the spring of the year everything seemed to betoken a coming convulsion. At this time ...
— Memoirs of the Court of George IV. 1820-1830 (Vol 1) - From the Original Family Documents • Duke of Buckingham and Chandos

... upon his bed with his eyes closed; no one would have imagined there had been any outburst or convulsion of passion in his mental or emotional organism. He breathed easily; there was a pale tint of red in his cheeks, above his close, brown beard; his forehead was slightly moist, and his pulse, on which the surgeon laid his finger with professional ...
— Bressant • Julian Hawthorne

... There was an instantaneous convulsion in my cousin's face, and I distinctly heard him gnash his teeth at this reply; but, to my surprise, he resumed in tones ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 20 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... telescope; while the opening at the top between the two walls would seem so narrow at such an immense distance that the sky above would have the appearance of nothing more than a narrow streak of blue. Yet these huge chasms have not been made by any violent breaking apart of the rocks or convulsion of an earthquake. No, they have been gradually, silently, and steadily cut through by the river which now glides quietly in the wider chasms, or rushes rapidly through the narrow ...
— The Fairy-Land of Science • Arabella B. Buckley

... fainting fever, such cerebral erethism. The roar and dust of the daily battle of the Realists was continued under the flush of the sunset, the arms of the Romantics glittered, the pale spiritual Symbolists watched and waited, none knowing yet of their presence. In such an hour of artistic convulsion and renewal of thought thou wert, and thou wert a magnificent rallying point for all comers; it was thou who didst theorise our confused aspirations, and by thy holy example didst save us from all base commercialism, from all hateful prostitution; thou wert ever our high priest, and from ...
— Confessions of a Young Man • George Moore

... continue to be the arbiter in international disputes, it is certainly desirable that such magnanimity in war as the conventions of the last century made possible should not be lost because of Germany's behavior in the present European convulsion. It is also desirable to reaffirm with all possible emphasis that fidelity to international agreements is ...
— New York Times Current History; The European War, Vol 2, No. 3, June, 1915 - April-September, 1915 • Various

... pursued in Canada during these exciting months in the Maritime Provinces were those defined by a great historian, in dealing with a different convulsion, as 'masterly inactivity.' In that memorable speech of years afterwards when Macdonald, about to be overwhelmed by the Pacific Railway charges, appealed to his countrymen in words that came straight from ...
— The Fathers of Confederation - A Chronicle of the Birth of the Dominion • A. H. U. Colquhoun

... lad between the shoulders. The thrust went home neatly, under the left shoulder-blade, deep and inclined a little upward. It must have reached his heart, for he died after one violent convulsion which threw him into the air, and turned him completely over, his corpse slapping the ground like a flopping fish ...
— Andivius Hedulio • Edward Lucas White

... commenced. It generally indicates an irritated nervous system. Most often this depends upon some disturbance of digestion; less often upon the presence of worms. The symptom is present during or preceding a convulsion, and may occur, too, in disease of the brain. In some babies it appears to be only a ...
— The Mother and Her Child • William S. Sadler

... so it would be hard to pass through the Lords a measure adequate to stop the clamour for more, and active agitation. I begin to relapse into my belief that there must be long conflict. Nothing seems to me worth a national Convulsion which does not give us new principles and new persons in the Executive Government. I incline to believe that we shall live to see Radicalism (of a grade far beyond what is popularly so named) in high office and carrying out ...
— Memoir and Letters of Francis W. Newman • Giberne Sieveking

... the custom to demand of each candidate a statement of his or her experience. I had no experience to give; and I was excused on the grounds that I had been the child of pious parents, and consequently had not undergone that convulsion which those, not favoured like myself, necessarily underwent when ...
— The Autobiography of Mark Rutherford • Mark Rutherford

... complications to recognise the daughter of Catherine without excluding Elizabeth, and excluding the prince who was expected to follow her. By asserting her title, Mary was making herself the nucleus of sedition, which on her father's death would lead to a convulsion in the realm. She might not mean it, but the result would not be affected by a want of purpose in herself; and it was possible that her resolution might create immediate and far more painful complications. The king's excommunication was imminent, and if the censures were enforced by the emperor, ...
— History of England from the Fall of Wolsey to the Death of Elizabeth. Vol. II. • James Anthony Froude

... tongues of sombre sheen, Like four flames joined in one, around the head And by the outstretched arms, their glory spread. The statue is of wood; of natural size Tinted; one almost sees before one's eyes The last convulsion of the lingering breath. "Behold the man!" Robust and frail. Beneath That breast indeed might throb the Sacred Heart. And from the lips, so holily dispart, The dying murmur breathes "Forgive! Forgive!" O wide-stretched arms! "I perish, let them live." Under the torture of the thorny crown, ...
— Silverpoints • John Gray

... still clinging to solid doctrine, was far removed from the tuning-fork stage. Through throes of terrible convulsion it had come to possess an organ, a paid soloist, and a Ladies' Aid, that insidious first thing in ...
— Up the Hill and Over • Isabel Ecclestone Mackay

... origin of these strata, namely, that the great bed of trachyte at the base is an ancient lava bed; that this, perhaps long after it was consolidated, was covered by beds of ashes and scoriae thrown out by a not far distant volcano, and that at last a great convulsion broke through the trachyte bed and hurled the fragments over the country along with dense volumes of dust and ashes. The angular blocks of trachyte imbedded in the stratum Number 5 in section are exactly the same in composition as the great bed below, and in ...
— The Naturalist in Nicaragua • Thomas Belt

... realized the truth of his words when Bobby came striding into the room, with the family doctor at his heels. For the past forty-eight hours, Beatrix had watched convulsion after convulsion rack the tiny frame, wear itself out and die away, only to be followed by another and yet another. Under this new sorrow, the grandparents had given way entirely. They were powerless to help, and Beatrix, pitying their misery ...
— The Dominant Strain • Anna Chapin Ray

... that he came up in time to shake hands before the music began—then, that after he had stood a little while by the elbow of the settee at the empty end, the torrent-like confluences of bass and treble seemed, like a convulsion of nature, to cast the conduct of petty mortals into insignificance, and ...
— Daniel Deronda • George Eliot



Words linked to "Convulsion" :   raptus, ictus, disruption, epileptic seizure, hoo-ha, clonus, trouble, flutter, hoo-hah, kerfuffle, commotion, attack, seizure, to-do, convulse, disturbance, hurly burly



Copyright © 2020 Dictonary.net