1. <medicine> The fit, attack, or exacerbation, of a disease that occurs at intervals, or has decided remissions or intermissions.

2. Any sudden and violent emotion; spasmodic passion or action; a convulsion; a fit. "The returning paroxysms of diffidence and despair." (South)

Origin: F. Paroxysme, Gr, fr. To sharpen, irritate; beside, beyond + to sharpen, from sharp.

(01 Mar 1998)

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