If you see someone have a convulsion, it can either be scary or funny, depending on whether it's caused by a medical condition or a really funny joke. A convulsion is a jerking, uncontrolled movement.

When a person has a convulsion, it appears as a sudden, violent movement of the body. Convulsions most often happen as a result of a medical condition or illness like epilepsy, but you can also describe a jerky, irregular movement as a convulsion, even if it's caused by hiccups or laughter. A political upheaval or social turmoil can also be called a convulsion, if it's abrupt and violent. The Latin root word is convulsionem, which means "to tear loose."

Definitions of convulsion
  1. noun
    violent uncontrollable contractions of muscles
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    convulsion characterized by alternating contractions and relaxations
    epileptic seizure
    convulsions accompanied by impaired consciousness
    epilepsia major, generalized seizure, grand mal
    a seizure during which the patient becomes unconscious and has convulsions over the entire body
    epilepsia minor, petit mal
    a seizure of short duration characterized by momentary unconsciousness and local muscle spasms or twitching
    type of:
    ictus, raptus, seizure
    a sudden occurrence (or recurrence) of a disease
  2. noun
    a sudden uncontrollable attack
    convulsions of laughter”
    synonyms: fit, paroxysm
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    type of:
    a sudden occurrence of an uncontrollable condition
  3. noun
    a physical disturbance such as an earthquake or upheaval
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    type of:
    an event causing distress or pain
  4. noun
    a violent disturbance
    “the convulsions of the stock market”
    synonyms: turmoil, upheaval
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