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spasmodic
used in Moby Dick

7 uses
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Definition
affected by involuntary jerky muscular contractions; resembling a spasm;
or: occurring in spells and often abruptly
  • And now abating in his flurry, the whale once more rolled out into view; surging from side to side; spasmodically dilating and contracting his spout-hole, with sharp, cracking, agonized respirations.
    Chapters 61-63 — Stubb Kills a Whale; The Dart; The Crotch (62% in)
  • Heated and irritated as he was by his spasmodic toil at the pumps, for all his first nameless feeling of forbearance the sweating Steelkilt could but ill brook this bearing in the mate; but somehow still smothering the conflagration within him, without speaking he remained doggedly rooted to his seat, till at last the incensed Radney shook the hammer within a few inches of his face, furiously commanding him to do his bidding.
    Chapters 52-54 — The Albatross; The Gam; The Town-Ho's Story (48% in)
  • A continual cascade played at the bows; a ceaseless whirling eddy in her wake; and, at the slightest motion from within, even but of a little finger, the vibrating, cracking craft canted over her spasmodic gunwale into the sea.
    Chapters 61-63 — Stubb Kills a Whale; The Dart; The Crotch (47% in)
  • Now to this hand, now to that, he yawed in his faltering flight, and still at every billow that he broke, he spasmodically sank in the sea, or sideways rolled towards the sky his one beating fin.
    Chapters 79-81 — The Prairie; The Nut; The Pequod Meets the Virgin (56% in)
  • Out of the bottomless profundities the gigantic tail seems spasmodically snatching at the highest heaven.
    Chapters 85-87 — The Fountain; The Tail; The Grand Armada (38% in)
  • During the most violent shocks of the Typhoon, the man at the Pequod's jaw-bone tiller had several times been reelingly hurled to the deck by its spasmodic motions, even though preventer tackles had been attached to it—for they were slack—because some play to the tiller was indispensable.
    Chapters 121-123 — Midnight, on the Forecastle; Midnight, Aloft; The Musket (37% in)
  • As both steel and curse sank to the socket, as if sucked into a morass, Moby Dick sideways writhed; spasmodically rolled his nigh flank against the bow, and, without staving a hole in it, so suddenly canted the boat over, that had it not been for the elevated part of the gunwale to which he then clung, Ahab would once more have been tossed into the sea.
    Chapters 133-135 — The Chase—First Day; The Chase—Second Day; The Chase—Third Day (86% in)

There are no more uses of "spasmodic" in Moby Dick.

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