1. (Science: 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.