The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Convulse \Con*vulse"\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Convulsed; p. pr. &
vb. n. Convulsing.] [L. convulsus, p. p. of convellere to
tear up, to shake; con- + vellere to pluck, pull.]
1. To contract violently and irregulary, as the muscular
parts of an animal body; to shake with irregular spasms,
as in excessive laughter, or in agony from grief or pain.
With emotions which checked his voice and convulsed
his powerful frame. --Macaulay.
2. To agitate greatly; to shake violently.
The world is convulsed by the agonies of great
Syn: To agitate; disturb; shake; tear; rend.