by fits and starts
see fits and starts.
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Idioms and Phrases with by fits and starts (2 of 2)
Also, in fits and starts. With irregular intervals of action and inaction, spasmodically, as in The campaign is proceeding by fits and starts. This expression began in the late 1500s as by fits, the noun fit meaning a “paroxysm” or “seizure”; starts was added about a century later.
How to use by fits and starts in a sentence
As an example of good science-and-society policymaking, the history of fluoride may be more of a cautionary tale.
As this list shows, punishments typically run to a short-ish jail sentence and/or a moderately hefty fine.
And what he said on June 5, 1985 fits the mood of the moment three decades later.
A woman typically starts her life with millions of eggs but only 400 or so will ever undergo ovulation.
When the game starts, there is only sand, a white ball, a flag indicating hole 1, and a “0” at the top of the screen.Lost For Thousands of Strokes: 'Desert Golfing' Is 'Angry Birds' as Modern Art|Alec Kubas-Meyer|January 2, 2015|DAILY BEAST
With the dispersal of the spores the cone shrivels up, and then the stems starts to send out green branches.How to Know the Ferns|S. Leonard Bastin
All along the highways and by-paths of our literature we encounter much that pertains to this "queen of plants."
She also practises etching, pen-and-ink drawing, as well as crayon and water-color sketching.Women in the fine arts, from the Seventh Century B.C. to the Twentieth Century A.D.|Clara Erskine Clement
John was baptizing at a large pool called Ænon-by-Saleim,—probably allegorical, meaning “Fountain of Repose.”Solomon and Solomonic Literature|Moncure Daniel Conway
The sewing-machine made a resounding clatter in the room; it was of a ponderous, by-gone make.The Awakening and Selected Short Stories|Kate Chopin