fit

2
[fit]

noun

a sudden, acute attack or manifestation of a disease, especially one marked by convulsions or unconsciousness: a fit of epilepsy.
an onset, spell, or period of emotion, feeling, inclination, activity, etc.: a fit of anger; a fit of weeping.

Nearby words

  1. fistulation,
  2. fistulectomy,
  3. fistulize,
  4. fistulotomy,
  5. fistulous,
  6. fit as a fiddle,
  7. fit in,
  8. fit like a glove,
  9. fit note,
  10. fit out

Idioms

    by/in fits and starts, at irregular intervals; intermittently: This radio works by fits and starts.
    throw a fit, to become extremely excited or angry: Your father will throw a fit when he hears what you have done.

Origin of fit

2
before 1000; Middle English; Old English fitt round of fighting. See fit3

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


British Dictionary definitions for by fits and starts

fit

1

verb fits, fitting or fitted or US fit

to be appropriate or suitable for (a situation, etc)
to be of the correct size or shape for (a connection, container, etc)
(tr) to adjust in order to render appropriatethey had to fit the idea to their philosophy
(tr) to supply with that which is needed
(tr) to try clothes on (someone) in order to make adjustments if necessary
(tr) to make competent or readythe experience helped to fit him for the task
(tr) to locate with care
(intr) to correspond with the facts or circumstances

adjective fitter or fittest

suitable to a purpose or design; appropriate
having the right qualifications; qualifying
in good health
worthy or deservinga book fit to be read
(foll by an infinitive) in such an extreme condition that a specified consequence is likelyshe was fit to scream; you look fit to drop
mainly British informal (of a person) sexually attractive

noun

the manner in which something fits
the act or process of fitting
statistics the correspondence between observed and predicted characteristics of a distribution or modelSee goodness of fit
See also fit in, fit out, fit up

Derived Formsfittable, adjective

Word Origin for fit

C14: probably from Middle Dutch vitten; related to Old Norse fitja to knit

fit

2

noun

pathol a sudden attack or convulsion, such as an epileptic seizure
a sudden spell of emotiona fit of anger
an impulsive period of activity or lack of activity; mooda fit of laziness
give a person a fit to surprise a person in an outrageous manner
have a fit or throw a fit informal to become very angry or excited
in fits and starts or by fits and starts in spasmodic spells; irregularly

verb fits, fitting or fitted

(intr) informal to have a sudden attack or convulsion, such as an epileptic seizure

Word Origin for fit

Old English fitt conflict; see fit ³

fit

3

noun

archaic a story or song or a section of a story or song

Word Origin for fit

Old English fitt; related to Old Norse fit hem, Old High German fizza yarn

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for by fits and starts
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with by fits and starts

by fits and starts

see fits and starts.

fit

In addition to the idioms beginning with fit

  • fit as a fiddle
  • fit in
  • fit like a glove
  • fit out
  • fits and starts, by
  • fit to be tied
  • fit to kill

also see:

  • give someone fits
  • have a fit
  • if the shoe fits
  • see fit to
  • survival of the fittest
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.