Origin: AS. Fit strife, fight; of uncertain origin.

1. A stroke or blow. "Curse on that cross, quoth then the Sarazin, That keeps thy body from the bitter fit." (Spenser)

2. A sudden and violent attack of a disorder; a stroke of disease, as of epilepsy or apoplexy, which produces convulsions or unconsciousness; a convulsion; a paroxysm; hence, a period of exacerbation of a disease; in general, an attack of disease; as, a fit of sickness. "And when the fit was on him, I did mark How he did shake." (Shak)

3. A mood of any kind which masters or possesses one for a time; a temporary, absorbing affection; a paroxysm; as, a fit melancholy, of passion, or of laughter. "All fits of pleasure we balanced by an equal degree of pain." (Swift) "The English, however, were on this subject prone to fits of jealously." (Macaulay)

4. A passing humor; a caprice; a sudden and unusual effort, activity, or motion, followed by relaxation or insction; an impulse and irregular action. "The fits of the season." (Shak)

5. A darting point; a sudden emission. "A tongue of light, a fit of flame." (Coleridge) By fits, By fits and starts, by intervals of action and repose; impulsively and irregularly; intermittently.

(01 Mar 1998)

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