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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








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"Convulsion" Quotes from Famous Books



... lay thus, and then a sudden convulsion of the giant carcass at the man's side, a tremor, and a stiffening brought Tarzan to his knees beside the crocodile. To his utter amazement he found that the beast was dead. The slim knife had found a vulnerable spot in the ...
— The Beasts of Tarzan • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... was volcanic (indeed the whole island had undoubtedly been thrown up from the floor of the sea by some subterranean convulsion in ages past), the coral insects had been at work adding to the strength of the lagoon's barriers. The recent quake that had lifted the reef had ground much of this coral-work to dust. Drew found himself wading ankle deep in it ...
— Doubloons—and the Girl • John Maxwell Forbes

... sealed by illusions at last had been opened to the truth." It required a European War on the vastest scale that the world had ever known to shake him out of his fallacies and illusions, and many of us felt that it would have been better if a less terrible convulsion had sufficed to awaken him, but still, now he was awakened, he was prompt in owning he had been in the wrong and therefore no more was to be said. The subsequent stages of this Representation of the People Bill were a ...
— The History of Woman Suffrage, Volume VI • Various

... stimulus had a most favorable effect on the slaves, and gave promise of complete success. But the judicious agent died in consequence of the climate, and the French Revolution threw every thing into a state of convulsion at home and abroad. The new republic of France bestowed unconditional emancipation upon the slaves in her colonies; and had she persevered in her promises with good faith and discretion, the horrors of St. ...
— An Appeal in Favor of that Class of Americans Called Africans • Lydia Maria Child

... faculties of the greatest and wisest of our race; but I thank Heaven I have never been subjected to its singular fascination. For, oh, Phantis! there is that within me that tells me that when my time does come, the convulsion will be tremendous! When I love, it will be with the accumulated fervor of sixty-six years! But I have an ideal—a semi-transparent Being, filled with an inorganic pink jelly—and I have never yet seen the woman who approaches within measurable ...
— The Complete Plays of Gilbert and Sullivan - The 14 Gilbert And Sullivan Plays • William Schwenk Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan

... of Clifton Hot Wells, in describing this scenery, says, "One of the sublimest and most beautiful scenes in nature is exhibited by those bold and rugged eminences behind the crescent, known by the name of St. Vincent's Rocks, which appear to have been rent asunder by some violent convulsion of nature." They are misshapen and massy projections, nearly 300 feet in height. Pieces of this rock, when broken, have much the appearance of a dark, red marble; and when struck by a substance of corresponding hardness, emit a strong sulphureous smell. It ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction - Vol. 14, Issue 390, September 19, 1829 • Various

... Equal at least. Look further still, And own your lamentable case Is little short of happiness. In yonder hut, that stands alone, Attend to Famine's feeble moan; Or view the couch where Sickness lies; Mark his pale cheek, and languid eyes, His frame by strong convulsion torn, His struggling sighs, and looks forlorn. Or see, transfixed with keener pangs, Where o'er his hoard the miser hangs; Whistles the wind; he starts, he stares, Nor Slumber's balmy blessing shares; Despair, Remorse, ...
— The Minstrel; or the Progress of Genius - with some other poems • James Beattie

... side, would have splashed, in her beautiful clothes, among the frightened swans, rather than invite him to that ineptitude. Oh, her sincerity, Mary Lindeck's—she would be drenched with her sincerity, and she would be drenched, yes, with his; so that, from inward convulsion to convulsion, she had, before they reached their gate, pulled up in the path. There was something her head had been full of these three or four minutes, the intensest little tune of the music-box, and it made its way to her lips now; belonging—for all the good it could ...
— The Great English Short-Story Writers, Vol. 1 • Various

... 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

... 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 of ...
— The Nameless Castle • Maurus Jokai

... discovered the nest, and planning to come the next day. We came next day, and many days thereafter, but never again did we see the birds near. They abandoned the nest, doubtless feeling that they had been driven away by a convulsion of nature. ...
— Little Brothers of the Air • Olive Thorne Miller

... one is as likely to 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 yards more down Morris Street, and find himself on Washington Street ...
— By Advice of Counsel • Arthur Train

... convulsion of irony] Let us seize this unspeakable moment. Let us march to the great meeting at once. Excuse me just an instant. [He rushes into the shelter. Jenny takes her tambourine from ...
— Major Barbara • George Bernard Shaw

... there succeeds a second epoch. After another natural convulsion, in which the order of the world and of human life is once more reversed, God withdraws his guiding hand, and man is left to the government of himself. The world begins again, and arts and laws are slowly and painfully invented. A secular age succeeds ...
— Gorgias • Plato

... 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 was an unfortunate turn; much on ...
— The Victorian Age in Literature • G. K. Chesterton

... which England was passing through the stages of a social and political revolution, in which the democracy was rising to power and the landed aristocracy was losing prestige and privilege. That this revolution was accomplished without such a convulsion as marked this struggle in other European kingdoms may have been due, in some degree at least, to the fact that the leader of the aristocratic Party was held in honor by the masses of the nation. Moments of exasperation there were when the bitterness of popular feeling against the obstructionists ...
— Ten Englishmen of the Nineteenth Century • James Richard Joy

... not mean that sincere and sensible people never change nor modify their faith. I wish to say, for its emphasis, if you will allow me, that they never do anything else; but generally the change is a gradual and natural one,—a growth, not a convulsion,—a reformation, not a revolution. When it is otherwise, it is a serious matter, not to be lightly done or flippantly discussed. If you really had a religious belief, it threw out roots and rootlets through all your life. It sucked in strength from every source. It intertwined itself ...
— Gala-days • Gail Hamilton

... as the hours went by. He wandered stealthily about the rooms like a lost being. It was like matter sighing after, weeping over, spirit. Prince Zaleski had never before withdrawn himself from the surveillance of this sturdy watchman, and his disappearance now was like a convulsion in their little cosmos. Ham implored me repeatedly, if I could, to throw some light on the meaning of this catastrophe. But I too was in the dark. The Titanic frame of the Ethiopian trembled with emotion as in broken, childish words he told me that he ...
— Prince Zaleski • M.P. Shiel

... golden 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 ...
— Silverpoints • John Gray

... is no difficulty in the way of their identification with these tiny creatures, the largest of which found on Hawaii is 144 millimeters. By a plausible analogy, then, the earthquake which rends the earth is attributed to the god who clothes himself in the form of a lizard; still further, such a convulsion of nature may have been used to figure the arrival of some warlike band who peopled Hawaii, perhaps settling in this very Hilo region and forcing their cult upon the older form ...
— The Hawaiian Romance Of Laieikawai • Anonymous

... above the rest. The aggrandizement of one tends to excite a combination, or at least the wishes of many, to reduce him to the common level. From motives of this kind, the naval superiority of Great Britain was received with jealousy by her neighbours. They were in general disposed to favour any convulsion which promised a diminution of ...
— The Loyalists of America and Their Times, Vol. 1 of 2 - From 1620-1816 • Egerton Ryerson

... to effect a great political change, was embraced by many equally careless of the one motive or the other; but who hoped to indulge their licentious passions, repair their broken fortunes, or gratify their inordinate ambition amidst a revolutionary convulsion. ...
— The Works Of John Dryden, Vol. 7 (of 18) - The Duke of Guise; Albion and Albanius; Don Sebastian • John Dryden

... be damned good," cried Herrick. "There's something here beyond me. Think of that calaboose! Suppose we were sent suddenly back." He shuddered as stung by a convulsion, and buried his face in his ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. XIX (of 25) - The Ebb-Tide; Weir of Hermiston • Robert Louis Stevenson

... is the stage that saw the great convulsion of the fifth century, the army though not yet wholly barbaric, had already become in its most vital part, barbaric. It took its orders, of course, wholly from the Roman State, but great groups within it were only ...
— Europe and the Faith - "Sine auctoritate nulla vita" • Hilaire Belloc

... the place where he had stood. Then she suddenly turned like a mad woman, glanced down at the gown she was wearing, tore it from her back as if it had been a polluted garment, and stamped upon it in a convulsion of rage. And then, with her beautiful bare arms clasped together over her head, she threw herself upon her couch ...
— Frontier Stories • Bret Harte

... the kidding," Mallow growled, then he fell into a new convulsion of coughing. The car proceeded for some time to the tune of smothered complaints from the miserable figures bouncing upon the rear seat before Gray said: "I fear you are a selfish pair of rascals. Have you no concern regarding the fate of the third member of your treasure-hunting trio?" ...
— Flowing Gold • Rex Beach

... not be!" he 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 ...
— The Web of Life • Robert Herrick

... voice, the rights pledged to the South by the Constitution. This, at the period when he so declared himself, was comparatively an easy thing to do. But when it became more difficult, when the first imperceptible movement of agitation had grown to be almost a convulsion, his course was still the same. Nor did he ever shun the obloquy that sometimes threatened to pursue the northern man who dared to love that great and sacred reality— his whole, united, native country—better than the ...
— Sketches and Studies • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... removal from office, and transportation to the skies. Truly this is a great undertaking and if the learned manager can only get over the obstacles of the laws of nature, the Constitution will not stand in his way. He can contrive no method but that of a convulsion of the earth, that shall project the deposed President to this infinitely distant space; but a shock of nature of so vast energy and for so great a result on him, might unsettle even the footing of the firm members of Congress. We certainly need not resort to so perilous a method ...
— Something of Men I Have Known - With Some Papers of a General Nature, Political, Historical, and Retrospective • Adlai E. Stevenson

... the late wars or from those menacing symptoms which now appear in Europe, it is manifest that if a convulsion should take place in any of those countries it will proceed from causes which have no existence and are utterly unknown in these States, in which there is but one order, that of the people, to whom the sovereignty exclusively belongs. Should war break out in any of those countries, who can foretell ...
— A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents - Section 1 (of 3) of Volume 2: James Monroe • James D. Richardson

... danger, or death,—when the great eternity, with all its awful realities, and all its unknown terror, opens upon his quailing gaze. There are times in man's life, when he is the subject of movements within that impel him to deeds that seem almost superhuman; but that internal ferment and convulsion which is produced when all eternity pours itself through his being turns his soul up from the centre. Man will labor convulsively, night and day, for money; he will dry up the bloom and freshness of health, for earthly power and fame; he will actually wear his body ...
— Sermons to the Natural Man • William G.T. Shedd

... 'death had probably followed the injection in this case almost immediately; say within a couple of minutes, or perhaps three. It was quite possible that the body would not have more than one quick and sudden convulsion, perhaps not that; death in such cases is absolutely ...
— The Old Man in the Corner • Baroness Orczy

... convulsion in the heavens—the gathering storm-clouds spoke to each other and exchanged lightning glances until the sky was a sea of fire. Great clouds whirled up from the west, and others bore down from the east, and they mingled around the moon in one great aerial war until the ...
— Saronia - A Romance of Ancient Ephesus • Richard Short

... on the floor. He had swooned. The two men raised him, carried him up the stone steps, and laid him with infinite care on a sofa. He lay, breathing queerly through the nostrils, his eyes closed, his fingers contracted; every now and then a convulsion ran ...
— The Grand Babylon Hotel • Arnold Bennett

... it, the more the pain at her heart bit her. And another fear came to help the former, its fit and appropriate congener. With the image of Mr. St. Leger and his cards, rose up also the memory of Mr. St. Leger's decanters; and Dolly lowered her head once in a convulsion of fear. She found she could not bear the course of her thought; it must be interrupted; and she sprang up and hurried on up the bank under the great trees, telling herself that it was impossible; that anything so ...
— The End of a Coil • Susan Warner

... permitted to usurp a place amongst words, &c."—"The neighing of a horse, the lowing of a cow, the barking of a dog, the purring of a cat; sneezing, coughing, groaning, shrieking, and every other involuntary convulsion with oral sound, have almost as good a title to be called parts of speech, as ...
— Practical Education, Volume II • Maria Edgeworth

... however, subsequently failed to keep this promise, and the disappointment so irritated the Marechal that he resolved to revenge himself by joining the party of the Princes, and otherwise harassing the Council; a determination which was unfortunately too easily realized at a period of such internal convulsion.[128] ...
— The Life of Marie de Medicis, Vol. 2 (of 3) • Julia Pardoe

... the Dewey appeared to be going down by the stern, with her bow inclined upward at an angle of forty-five degrees. Above all the din and confusion could be heard the roar of a terrific explosion outside. The little submersible was caught in the convulsion of the sea until it seemed her seams would be rent ...
— The Brighton Boys with the Submarine Fleet • James R. Driscoll

... altogether new, and it has more than once of late been submitted to the people's representatives in the Congress, who alone can apply a remedy. And yet the situation still continues, with aggravated incidents, more than ever presaging financial convulsion ...
— Complete State of the Union Addresses from 1790 to the Present • Various

... thus, in a manner, taken away from beneath their feet, 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, ...
— Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 443 - Volume 17, New Series, June 26, 1852 • Various

... of the reception which he deigned to the fairies, and how he told them of his ancient victories over man; how he chafed at the gathering invasions of his realm; and how joyously he gloated of some great convulsion* in the northern States, which, rapt into moody reveries in those solitary woods, the fierce demon broodingly foresaw. All these fain would I narrate, but they are not of the Rhine, and my story will not brook the delay. While thus conversing ...
— The Pilgrims Of The Rhine • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... you are prepared to make Peers, to force the measure if it fail again, and I would have this intention half-officially communicated in all the great towns before the Bill was brought in. If this is not done—I mean, if Peers are not made—there will be a general convulsion, ending in a complete revolution.... If you wish to be happy three months hence, create Peers. If you wish to avoid an old age of sorrow and ...
— Sydney Smith • George W. E. Russell

... causes that made the transformation of French institutions absolutely inevitable; but it is not so often remembered that when the States-General met in 1789 by far the larger part of the benefits of the Revolution could have been attained without difficulty, without convulsion, and by general consent. The nobles and clergy had pledged themselves to surrender their feudal privileges and their privileges in taxation; a reforming king was on the throne, and a reforming minister was at his side. If the spirit of moderation ...
— Historical and Political Essays • William Edward Hartpole Lecky

... seconds after the gun was fired there was a frightful convulsion on the land. On the hill, where the Spanish guns had withstood the missiles of the ordinary ships of war, tons of rock and soil leaped in air. The land was ...
— The Boys of '98 • James Otis

... attention to a matter personal to himself. Instantly there was a dead silence—' but here Coningsby, who had moved for some time very restlessly on his chair, suddenly started up, and struggling for a moment against the inward convulsion, but in vain, stamped against the floor, and gave ...
— Coningsby • Benjamin Disraeli

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

... and flattery that would be accorded a debutante, but here all that seemed banned. One young man after getting well started on the subject of Sally Carrol's eyes and, how they had allured him ever since she entered the room, went into a violent convulsion when he found she was visiting the Bellamys—was Harry's fiancee. He seemed to feel as though he had made some risque and inexcusable blunder, became immediately formal and left ...
— Flappers and Philosophers • F. Scott Fitzgerald

... only I stood irresolute, then, throwing down my gun, I ran forward to my friend's assistance. I had a vague belief that he was suffering from a fit or some form of convulsion. Before I could reach his side he was down and quiet. All sounds had ceased, but, with a feeling of such terror as even these awful events had not inspired, I now saw the same mysterious movement of the wild oats prolonging ...
— The Damned Thing - 1898, From "In the Midst of Life" • Ambrose Bierce

... little face. Dying, the miserable little creature had ridden to Chilworth Street, hastening her own inevitable end by the stupendous act of folly, and ensuring Saxham's. That certainty had pierced him, even as the first horrible convulsion seized her and wrenched her sideways off the bench. He caught her, and shouted for his man, and they carried her into the consulting-room, and laid her on a sofa, and he did what might be done, knowing ...
— The Dop Doctor • Clotilde Inez Mary Graves

... knelt before her and bathed her temples with cold water, making her also inhale some salts which he found upon the toilet table in the next room. Little by little, these attentions produced an effect; the nervous convulsion became less frequent and a slight flush suffused her pale cheeks. She opened her eyes and then closed them, as if the light troubled them; then, extending her arms, she passed them about Octave's neck as he leaned over ...
— Gerfaut, Complete • Charles de Bernard

... interesting experience and a novel one. For months he had been feeling that he lived in the whirl of a maelstrom of schemes and jobberies, the inevitable result of the policy of a Government which had promised to recoup those it had involuntarily wronged during a national convulsion. Upon every side there had sprung up claimants—many an honest one, and hordes of those not honest. There were obvious thieves and specious ones, brilliant tricksters and dull ones. Newspaper literature ...
— In Connection with the De Willoughby Claim • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... dignity to an alarming extent. Dr. Rylance, the fashionable physician, the man whose nice touch adjusted the nerves of the aristocracy, to disport himself with unkempt, bare-handed young Wendovers! It was an upheaval of things which struck horror to Urania's soul. Easy, after beholding such a moral convulsion, to believe that the Wight had once been part of the mainland; or even that Ireland had originally been joined ...
— The Golden Calf • M. E. Braddon

... refinement. The Dervish dominion was born of war, existed by war, and fell by war. It began on the night of the sack of Khartoum. It ended abruptly thirteen years later in the battle of Omdurman. Like a subsidiary volcano, it was flung up by one convulsion, blazed during the period of disturbance, and was destroyed by the still more violent shock ...
— The River War • Winston S. Churchill

... was quite dark before we could find a sheltered spot in which to bivouac. At last we reached a deep hollow, which at one period of the world's history had been probably part of a watercourse, but owing to some convulsion of nature, it was now perfectly dry. Trees grew on the upper edges, and the sides were covered with brushwood. It appeared, as far as we could judge in the uncertain light of the evening, to be a place ...
— Manco, the Peruvian Chief - An Englishman's Adventures in the Country of the Incas • W.H.G. Kingston

... to discuss whether the overthrow of the guilty cities of Sodom and Gomorrah is connected with that convulsion of nature, with or without miracle, which formed the depression of the great valley; yet it is remarkable that the deepest part of the lake is at the spot which tradition has always pointed out for the site of those cities, and nigh ...
— Byeways in Palestine • James Finn

... the path on our side was pretty good, and led us through several peaceful little villages, overhung by giant rocks, and dotted with enormous blocks of stone, which had descended to disturb the harmony of the scene during some convulsion or commotion in the interior economy of the mountains. Some of these were taken advantage of by the natives to serve as canvas for their designs, and were carved with effigies of four-armed divinities, and other SACRED subjects. With the exception of these, we saw few traces of ...
— Diary of a Pedestrian in Cashmere and Thibet • by William Henry Knight

... in the manufacture of stoves. Here he remained until 1840, when he removed to Cleveland, taking with him the patterns and materials connected with the stove business, and commenced on his own account in a small way, his capital having been seriously crippled by the financial convulsion ...
— Cleveland Past and Present - Its Representative Men, etc. • Maurice Joblin

... course, 'where the orders came from?' and being told that Mr Jinkins and party paid, was beyond description entertained, observing that 'they must be nice flats, certainly;' and often in the course of the walk, bursting out again into a perfect convulsion of laughter at the surpassing silliness of those gentlemen, and (doubtless) at his ...
— Life And Adventures Of Martin Chuzzlewit • Charles Dickens

... while the Radicals stand laughing and chuckling by, only waiting for the proper moment to avail themselves of these senseless divisions. There is something inconceivable, a sort of political absurdity, in the notion of a country like this being on the eve of a convulsion, when it is tranquil, prosperous, and without any grievance; universal liberty prevails, every man's property and person are safe, the laws are well administered and duly obeyed; so far from there being any unredressed grievances, the imagination of man cannot devise the fiction or semblance ...
— The Greville Memoirs - A Journal of the Reigns of King George IV and King William IV, Vol. III • Charles C. F. Greville

... 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 ...
— Zanoni • Edward Bulwer Lytton

... to get books regularly from The Spectator and to pay periodical visits to the office, where I learned to understand and to appreciate my chiefs. But more of them later. The year 1886 was one of political convulsion, the year of the great split in the Liberal Party; the year in which Lord Hartington and Mr. Chamberlain finally severed themselves from Mr. Gladstone and began that co- operation with the Conservatives which resulted in the formation of the Unionist Party. I do not, ...
— The Adventure of Living • John St. Loe Strachey

... believed anything evolved out of the brains of men and put together by the fingers of men could operate with such devilish accuracy to compass such utter destruction. I would have said it was some planetic force, some convulsion of natural forces, and not an agency of human devisement, that turned Fort Loncin inside out, and transformed it within a space of hours from a supposedly impregnable stronghold into a hodgepodge of complete and hideous ruination. ...
— Paths of Glory - Impressions of War Written At and Near the Front • Irvin S. Cobb

... ebbs, 'tis but to flow again. Each fierce convulsion gains some vantage ground. Man's fettered limbs grow stronger, and the chain Falls link by link ...
— Continental Monthly , Vol I, Issue I, January 1862 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy • Various

... this course is adopted a social convulsion may fairly be apprehended, forced by the universal and necessary repudiation of existing laws and rules of decision, and by the general formation ...
— The Railroad Question - A historical and practical treatise on railroads, and - remedies for their abuses • William Larrabee

... that sweep the eastern seas. Not a breath of air stirred, not a cloud was to be seen; the ship lay motionless on the calm and glassy water. The ensign drooped in heavy folds from the stern, and many of the crew lay stretched on the decks in listless apathy, little anticipating the terrible convulsion of the elements which was so soon to arouse them in fear. The monotony on board was broken for a moment by the voice of the captain, Lord George Stuart, who ordered his gig to be manned that he might ...
— Narratives of Shipwrecks of the Royal Navy; between 1793 and 1849 • William O. S. Gilly

... for a moment, fixedly, then, bending his head towards his breast, he appeared to be undergoing a kind of convulsion, which was accompanied by a sound something resembling laughter; presently he looked at me, and there was a broad grin on ...
— Lavengro - The Scholar, The Gypsy, The Priest • George Borrow

... words, the pale lightnings of the battle. All these distant cottages, scattered about and charming in the sun, had been burnt; they were rebuilt; Nature, so quickly diverted, had repaired everything, had cleaned everything, had swept everything, had replaced everything. The ferocious convulsion of men had vanished, eternal order had resumed its sway. But, as I have said, the sun was there in vain, all this valley was smoke and darkness. In the distance, upon an eminence to my left, I saw a huge castle; it was Vandresse. There lodged the ...
— The History of a Crime - The Testimony of an Eye-Witness • Victor Hugo

... shiver shook the ground, the earth trembled as if in some deep convulsion, the white peaks seemed bowing and bending—then a roar as of many waters, the air darkened and earth and sky seemed filled with the mass of the mountains ...
— The Black Pearl • Mrs. Wilson Woodrow

... as might be expected if a pawl should be jostled from the teeth of a ratchet-wheel. But before I had time for much conjecture as to its nature my attention was taken by the strange motions of the automaton itself. A slight but continuous convulsion appeared to have possession of it. In body and head it shook like a man with palsy or an ague chill, and the motion augmented every moment until the entire figure was in violent agitation. Suddenly ...
— Can Such Things Be? • Ambrose Bierce

... social usages and customary sentiments and feelings. The two 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 and expected. The two races ...
— Folkways - A Study of the Sociological Importance of Usages, Manners, Customs, Mores, and Morals • William Graham Sumner

... annihilating quality in Louis' derision of the absentee. And the others enjoyed it so much. At moments Alvina caught her lip between her teeth, it was so screamingly funny, and so annihilating. She laughed in spite of herself. In spite of herself she was shaken into a convulsion of laughter. Louis was masterful—he mastered her psyche. She laughed till her head lay helpless on the chair, she could not move. Helpless, inert she lay, in her orgasm of laughter. The end of Mr. May. ...
— The Lost Girl • D. H. Lawrence

... character; if coming in contact with air, another. A breaking of the bed of the ocean, and bringing its waters in contact with the liquid mass beneath, might produce consequences extending in their action to districts of the globe, the most remote from those in which the convulsion occurred; for the water, rising into vapour, would tend to extend itself in one uniform atmosphere over the whole surface of the globe, and might be precipitated in unusual abundance wherever causes of condensation existed. Thus, partial, ...
— The American Quarterly Review, No. 17, March 1831 • Various

... abandoned; and all appeared to have been checked at its climacteric, like a clock stopped on the strike. Till this moment of confronting the suspended animation of the scene she had not realized the full shock of the convulsion which her disappearance must have caused. It is quite certain—apart from her own repeated assurances to that effect in later years—that in hastening off that morning to her sudden engagement, Margery had not counted the cost of such ...
— The Romantic Adventures of a Milkmaid • Thomas Hardy

... martyrs in your walls Than God has; and they cannot sleep; They are my bondsmen and my thralls; Their wretched lives are full of pain, Wild agonies of nerve and brain; And every heart-beat, every breath, Is a convulsion worse than death! Sleep, sleep, O city! though within The circuit of your walls there lies No habitation free from sin, And all its nameless miseries; The aching heart, the aching head, Grief for the living and the ...
— The Golden Legend • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

... forces whereof he is the centre, that the least irregularity on his part may set up a tremor which shall shake the earth to its foundations. And if nature may be disturbed by the slightest involuntary act of the king, it is easy to conceive the convulsion which his death might provoke. The natural death of the Chitom, as we have seen, was thought to entail the destruction of all things. Clearly, therefore, out of a regard for their own safety, which ...
— The Golden Bough - A study of magic and religion • Sir James George Frazer

... to know than myself how terrible a struggle is required to free the spirit from this second nature which tends to stifle the first. The history of these struggles is the history of our contradictions. God be thanked, this war—nay, it is more than a war, this convulsion of mankind—will clear away our doubts, put an end to our ...
— The Forerunners • Romain Rolland

... the captain's piece was already at his shoulder, and as he drew trigger the charge struck the serpent about a third of its length from the head, making it heave up out of the water, while a convulsion ran through it, and then it lay ...
— Mother Carey's Chicken - Her Voyage to the Unknown Isle • George Manville Fenn

... free and equal companion of the victorious Moslems. Every sin was expiated, every engagement was dissolved: the vow of celibacy was superseded by the indulgence of nature; the active spirits who slept in the cloister were awakened by the trumpet of the Saracens; and in the convulsion of the world, every member of a new society ascended to the natural level of his capacity and courage. The minds of the multitude were tempted by the invisible as well as temporal blessings of the Arabian prophet; ...
— The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume 5 • Edward Gibbon

... this violent passion are deeply impressed upon every feature in his countenance, his nose not excepted, which is absolutely most surprising. His body is tossed and shaken like one afflicted with the hot fit of an ague, or the severest paroxysms of convulsion. Then as to his mind, it is altogether distempered. He is perpetually declaiming on the magnificence, the liberty, and the pleasure, which reigns in the imperial British metropolis. He swears, that in that glorious place alone we can enjoy life. He says, there is no breathing ...
— Boswell's Correspondence with the Honourable Andrew Erskine, and His Journal of a Tour to Corsica • James Boswell

... just begun to repose from the convulsion occasioned by a change of dynasty, and, through the prudent tolerance of King William, had narrowly escaped the horrors of a protracted civil war. Agriculture began to revive, and men, whose minds had been disturbed by the violent political concussions, ...
— Old Mortality, Complete, Illustrated • Sir Walter Scott

... his sliver, snatched off his hat, and rid himself of a quid of something strong—all in one convulsion of activity. ...
— The Furnace of Gold • Philip Verrill Mighels

... cause could have driven a respectable yeoman like Robin Hood, along with so many others, apparently not much below him in rank, to the fastnesses of the forest? It is evident that only a great civil convulsion could have made, in one district, so large a number of outlaws of this peculiar character. Now, the rising of the discontented barons under the Earl of Lancaster, provoked by the king's favouritism and misgovernment, took ...
— Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 452 - Volume 18, New Series, August 28, 1852 • Various

... calm moments of reflection, they shall have retraced the origin and progress of the insurrection, let them determine whether it has not been fomented by combinations of men, who, careless of consequences, and disregarding the unerring truth that those who rouse can not always appease a civil convulsion, have disseminated, from an ignorance or perversion of facts, suspicions, jealousies, and ...
— The Life of George Washington, Vol. 5 (of 5) • John Marshall

... 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 heart, he declared: 'I have fought the battle ...
— The Fathers of Confederation - A Chronicle of the Birth of the Dominion • A. H. U. Colquhoun

... her pillow in silence. The cry of Singleton brought the rest of the party to her bedside; but death was already upon her countenance; her remaining strength just sufficed to reach the hand of George, and pressing it to her bosom for a moment, she relinquished her grasp, and, with a slight convulsion, expired. ...
— The Spy • James Fenimore Cooper

... later, she 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 ...
— The Dominant Strain • Anna Chapin Ray

... subdued the vivacity and impatience of the national character; for I know of no period in their history, when such a combination of personal suffering and political discontent, as exists at present, would not have produced some serious convulsion. ...
— A Residence in France During the Years 1792, 1793, 1794 and 1795, • An English Lady

... time my 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 ...
— Mauprat • George Sand

... supposed, at such a state of things during the Emperor's absence, convoked a Council, at which Joseph Bonaparte presided, and to which Desprez and Wanlerberghe were summoned. Ouvrard being informed of this financial convulsion made all possible haste from Madrid, and on his arrival at Paris sought assistance from Amsterdam. Hope's house offered to take 15,000,000 piastres at the rate of 3 francs 75 centimes each. Ouvrard having engaged to pay ...
— The Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte • Bourrienne, Constant, and Stewarton

... with dainty toil and loss to a more perpendicular angle. And the tangled pattern of craters is itself pocked with the smaller dents of bombs. There are three grades of holes—great mine craters that look like an earth convulsion themselves, pitted with shell holes, which in turn are dimpled by bombs. Imagine a place like the Ypres salient, a graveyard maze under the visitation of 8,000 shells falling from three widely separate angles, and some slight idea may be formed of nearly ...
— The Story of the Great War, Volume IV (of 8) • Francis J. (Francis Joseph) Reynolds, Allen L. (Allen Leon)

... be put in prison to be more nearly examined, Carlier, a Calvinist doctor, suddenly drew from his pocket something which was averred to be a most violent poison, which he threw into her mouth, and she kept it on her stomach whilst the convulsion lasted, but she threw it up of herself when she came to ...
— The Phantom World - or, The philosophy of spirits, apparitions, &c, &c. • Augustin Calmet

... their lairs and were occasionally hunted. The learned Abate Giulio Braccini, whose account of the eruption of 1631 is the most graphic and accurate we possess, explored the crater shortly before the outbreak of the volcano, but found little to suggest any idea of an approaching convulsion. He reckoned the deep depression occupying the crest of the mountain to be about five miles in circumference, and to take about a thousand paces of walking so as to reach the lowest point within ...
— The Naples Riviera • Herbert M. Vaughan

... immense depth, presenting that appearance which so often astonishes and appals travellers who frequent the Grampian Mountains, and indicates that these stupendous chasms were not the silent work of time, but the sudden effect of some violent convulsion of the earth. Down one of these rugged and almost perpendicular descents, the dog began, without hesitation, to make his way, and at last disappeared into a cave, the mouth of which was almost on a level with the torrent. The shepherd with some difficulty ...
— Anecdotes of Dogs • Edward Jesse

... paused, exhausted. His face was pale and livid—his form trembled with convulsion—and his lips grew white and chalky, while quivering like a troubled water. The landlord, after a gloomy ...
— Guy Rivers: A Tale of Georgia • William Gilmore Simms

... cried in a choking voice. "It's the same! What did you give him?" He screamed suddenly, his face worked, and grew purple. Then down he went frothing in such a terrible convulsion that Beany bolted into the Colonel's car, frightened out of his wits. A crowd gathered, and at once ambulance was summoned, and policemen were taking the names of people who had happened to be near; but no one thought of taking anything at all from the Boy Scout who sat so still ...
— The Boy Scouts on a Submarine • Captain John Blaine

... in the crucible at the earth's centre make one reflect on the possible consequences of the next great convulsion, and the fate that is in store for those intrepid villagers who have perched their primitive huts on the very edge of the Teng'ger crater. With these reflections, we turn away from one of the most solemn and ...
— Across the Equator - A Holiday Trip in Java • Thomas H. Reid

... 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 ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 20 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... earthquake that year in this country, that in one city called Arsingan, ten thousand persons are said to have perished. During three days journey we saw frequent gaps in the earth, which had been cleft by the convulsion, and great heaps of earth which had tumbled down from the mountains into the vallies. We passed through the valley where the soldan of the Turks was vanquished by the Tartars, and a servant belonging to my guide, who was in the Tartar army, said the Tartars did not ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Vol. 1 • Robert Kerr

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

... volcanic rock that in long ago prehistoric times was poured out in molten sheets over the region, and that formed the range we shall shortly see at the north end of the Lake—the Mount Pluto range. At some later period either earthquake convulsion started the break which ultimately eroded and disintegrated into the great gorge through which the railway has brought us, or grinding glacier cut ...
— The Lake of the Sky • George Wharton James

... some great convulsion or momentous event that may or may not be a cause of misery to man. In calamity, or disaster, the thought of human suffering is always present. It has been held by many geologists that numerous catastrophes or cataclysms antedated the existence of man. In literature, the final event of ...
— English Synonyms and Antonyms - With Notes on the Correct Use of Prepositions • James Champlin Fernald

... in plain terms, the saints, on entering their final state of bliss in heaven, are converted into a set of unmitigated fiends, out sataning Satan, finding their chief delight in forever comparing their own enjoyments with the pangs of the damned, extracting morsels of surpassing relish from every convulsion or shriek of anguish they see or hear. It is all an exquisite piece of gratuitous horror arbitrarily devised to meet a logical exigency of the theory its contrivers held. When charged that the knowledge of the infinite ...
— The Destiny of the Soul - A Critical History of the Doctrine of a Future Life • William Rounseville Alger

... Suddenly a convulsion shook the form of my dear one and Dr. Lebon stepped forward and took her hand. "The ...
— Paula the Waldensian • Eva Lecomte

... absent from even his earliest life. He loved fewer people in youth than in advancing age: nature and circumstance combined to widen the range, and vary the character of his human interests; but where once love or friendship had struck a root, only a moral convulsion could avail to dislodge it. I make no deduction from this statement when I admit that the last and most emphatic words of the ...
— Life and Letters of Robert Browning • Mrs. Sutherland Orr

... Thus[128] a world-wide convulsion marked the passing of the 49 imperial power into new hands. Meanwhile, after Cremona, the behaviour of Antonius Primus was not so blameless as before. He had settled the war, he felt; the rest would be plain sailing. Or, perhaps, in such a nature as his ...
— Tacitus: The Histories, Volumes I and II • Caius Cornelius Tacitus

... brainless Robert Redmayne, brought his niece to spend her school holiday with him and I discovered in the seventeen-year-old schoolgirl a magnificent and pagan simplicity of mind, combined with a Greek loveliness of body that created in me a convulsion. From the day that we met, from the hour that I heard her laugh at her uncle's objection to mixed bathing, I was as one possessed; and my triumphant joy may be judged, though never measured, when I perceived that Jenny recognized in me the complement and precious ...
— The Red Redmaynes • Eden Phillpotts

... military were attacked: some had become to all appearance idiots, weeping or fixing their hollow eyes stedfastly on the ground. There were others whose hair had become stiff, erect, and ropy, and who, amidst a torrent of blasphemies, a horrid convulsion, or a still more frightful laugh, ...
— History of the Expedition to Russia - Undertaken by the Emperor Napoleon in the Year 1812 • Count Philip de Segur

... reluctantly has it given way that during the whole distance the water is very deep even at the edges, and for the first three miles there is not a spot except one of a few yards, in which a man could stand between the water and the towering perpendicular of the mountain: the convulsion of the passage must have been terrible, since at its outlet there are vast columns of rock torn from the mountain which are strewed on both sides of the river, the trophies as it were of the victory. Several fine springs burst out from the chasms of the rock, and ...
— History of the Expedition under the Command of Captains Lewis and Clark, Vol. I. • Meriwether Lewis and William Clark

... Isn't the tree judged by its fruits? And isn't it evident that, instead of a renascence, a far-spreading social movement bringing back the past, we are simply witnessing a transitory reaction, which many things explain? The old world would rather not die, and is struggling in a final convulsion, reviving for a last hour before it is swept away by the overflowing river of human knowledge, whose waters ever increase. And yonder, in the future, is the new world, which the real young ones will bring into existence, those who work, those who are not known, who are not heard. ...
— The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete - Lourdes, Rome and Paris • Emile Zola

... stand by me, and behold What cause I have for crying. Look but here! Here is the mystery unveiled. O see! Ye people, gaze on this poor quivering flesh, Look with compassion on my misery! Ah me! Ah! ah! Again! Even now the hot convulsion of disease Shoots through my side, and will not let me rest From this fierce exercise of wearing woe. Take me, O King of Night! O sudden thunderstroke. Smite me! O sire, transfix me with the dart Of thy swift lightning! Yet again that fang Is tearing; it hath blossomed forth ...
— The Seven Plays in English Verse • Sophocles

... dedicated to the Virgin, there lighting up with a warm glow the famous alabaster tomb known as "Le Mourant" or "The Dying One." A strange and awesome piece of sculpture truly, is this same "Mourant"!— showing, as it does with deft and almost appalling exactitude, the last convulsion of a strong man's body gripped in the death-agony. No delicate delineator of shams and conventions was the artist of olden days whose ruthless chisel shaped these stretched sinews, starting veins, ...
— The Master-Christian • Marie Corelli

... breaketh the cedar trees,'" said I, "but what you hear is caused by a convulsion of the air; during a thunderstorm there are occasionally all kinds of aerial noises. Ab Gwilym, who, next to King David, has best described a thunderstorm, speaks of these aerial noises in ...
— Isopel Berners - The History of certain doings in a Staffordshire Dingle, July, 1825 • George Borrow

... earthquake action, more violent than any which the world now witnesses. The geologist deals in such sublime conceptions as a world of molten matter, tossed into waves by violent efforts of escaping vapors, cooling, cracking, and rending, in dire convulsion. He then ceases to discuss the changes and formation of worlds, and condescends to inform us how to fertilize our soil, where to look for coal and iron, copper, tin, cobalt, lead, and where we need not look for either. ...
— Continental Monthly , Vol. 6, No. 1, July, 1864 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy. • Various

... leaning back nervelessly in his chair. His face was quite pale and cold. His lips were slightly parted. His eyes were wide open and stared before him without expression. His head hung far back over the edge of his chair. He looked exactly like a man who had just died, and died in a convulsion. For though the lips were parted, the teeth set tightly together grinned through them, and the hands were intensely contracted into fists. Julian seized Valentine in his arms, lifted the drooping body from the chair and laid it out at length on ...
— Flames • Robert Smythe Hichens

... black as jet; hence it is called the Black Growler. Think of the awful power confined beneath the surface here, when this one angry voice can be distinctly heard four miles away. Choke up that aperture, and what a terrible convulsion would ensue, as the accumulated steam burst its prison walls! It is a sight which makes one long to lift the cover from this monstrous caldron, learn the cause of its stupendous heat, and trace the complicated and mysterious aqueducts through which the steam ...
— John L. Stoddard's Lectures, Vol. 10 (of 10) - Southern California; Grand Canon of the Colorado River; Yellowstone National Park • John L. Stoddard

... One of the surrounding creatures swerved suddenly up toward the men. Instinctively angling the torp, Ken sent a nitro-shell at it; and the chance aim was good. The projectile caught the sealman squarely, and, after the convulsion, it began to drift downward, its body ...
— Under Arctic Ice • H.G. Winter

... the old hag, the English occupied a spot in Tartary, where they lived sulkily by themselves, unknowing and unknown. By a great convulsion that took place in China, the inhabitants of that and the adjoining parts of Tartary were driven from their seats, and after various wanderings took up their abode in Germany. During this time nobody could understand the English, for they did ...
— A Budget of Paradoxes, Volume I (of II) • Augustus De Morgan

... cities in our own planet more than once, where volcano or other convulsion had overwhelmed them, and found the relics of past civilization; but here, in our comet, we look not upon the past but upon the future, as it were, and see what has been done in a world much older than our own. The belief that the ...
— Daybreak: A Romance of an Old World • James Cowan

... front and foremost is That this convulsion speaks not, pictures not The heart of France. It comes of artifice— From the unique and sinister influence Of a smart army-gamester—upon men Who have shared his own excitements, spoils, and crimes.— This man, ...
— The Dynasts - An Epic-Drama Of The War With Napoleon, In Three Parts, - Nineteen Acts, And One Hundred And Thirty Scenes • Thomas Hardy

... lay a vast quantity of 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 Mountain that was 'God' • John H. Williams

... heart!" he murmured, "was it for this that thou didst commend to me the only pledge of our youthful love? Forgive me! I restore her to the earth, untainted by the Gentile." He closed his eyes again, and a strong convulsion shook his frame. It passed; and he rose as a man from a fearful dream, composed, and almost as it were refreshed, by the terrors he had undergone. The last glimmer of the ghastly light was dying away upon that ancient altar, and a low wind crept sighing ...
— Leila or, The Siege of Granada, Book V. • Edward Bulwer Lytton

... to ourselves—to the passing generations of men; and it can without convulsion be hushed forever with the passing of one generation. . ...
— Lincoln's Inaugurals, Addresses and Letters (Selections) • Abraham Lincoln

... man may travel from the Pole to the Equator, from the Straits of Malacca to the Isthmus of Darien, and he will see nothing so astonishing as this. The pangs of Etna and Vesuvius excite feelings of horror as well as of terror; the convulsion of the elements during a thunderstorm carries with it nothing but pride, much less of pleasure, to counteract the awe inspired by the fearful workings of perturbed nature; but the scene which is here presented, and which I cannot adequately describe, engenders a proud consciousness ...
— Railway Adventures and Anecdotes - extending over more than fifty years • Various

... Corsica on a visit to his mother. He had fitted up a little reading-room at the top of the house as the quietest part of it, and was spending his mornings in study, and his evenings among his family and old acquaintance, when the arrival of the expedition threw the island into convulsion. Paoli, who knew him well, did all he could to enlist him in his cause; he used, among other flatteries, to clap him on the back, and tell him he was "one of Plutarch's men." But Napoleon had satisfied himself that Corsica was too ...
— The History of Napoleon Buonaparte • John Gibson Lockhart

... actually animated! I always said that it would take a convulsion of nature to rouse him from his deadly propriety, but upon my word he looks excited. What can ...
— Sisters Three • Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey

... walked down the corridor, she saw more and more of the evidences of the convulsion. The thick iron-bound door lay where it had fallen, and it had not been moved since it was lifted to get the two men from under it. Its ponderous hinges were twisted as if they had been made of glue, ...
— Jennie Baxter, Journalist • Robert Barr

... coughing pitifully, his slender frame wracked by the convulsion of each new attack. Barney had placed an arm about the boy to support him, for the paroxysms ...
— The Mad King • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... down with head slightly raised. As soon as possible, administer enema or dose of castor oil. Put ice bag on head and hot water bottle to feet. Keep warm. A child may be put into a warm bath and held until convulsions subside. Keep very quiet and handle as little as possible when the convulsion is over, as handling may cause a ...
— Scouting For Girls, Official Handbook of the Girl Scouts • Girl Scouts



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



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