[ ep-uh-sod-ik, -zod- ]
/ ˌɛp əˈsɒd ɪk, -ˈzɒd- /
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pertaining to or of the nature of an episode.
divided into separate or tenuously related parts or sections; loosely connected: an episodic novel.
occurring sporadically or incidentally.
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Also ep·i·sod·i·cal .

Origin of episodic

First recorded in 1705–15; episode + -ic


ep·i·sod·i·cal·ly, adverbnon·ep·i·sod·ic, adjectivenon·ep·i·sod·i·cal, adjectivenon·ep·i·sod·i·cal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does episodic mean?

Episodic describes things that are divided into episodes—parts or installments in a series.

The word episode is perhaps most popularly used to refer to one of the parts that a TV series is divided into, as in I’ve seen every single episode of The Office. A TV show is especially described as episodic when each episode is its own standalone story, as in Showrunners are planning to make the reboot more episodic, with each episode being its own adventure. (Of course, many shows have episodes that contain a standalone story that also ties into the bigger narrative.)

A more general sense of the word episode refers to a specific incident in a continuous series of events or an occurrence of a recurring event. In this way, episodic can be used to describe things that occur occasionally or at irregular intervals. Similar terms are occasional, irregular, and sporadic.

Example: Epilepsy is sometimes described as an episodic disability because seizures happen at irregular intervals.

Where does episodic come from?

The first records of the word episodic come from the early 1700s. It ultimately comes from the Greek epeisódion, meaning “addition” or “parenthetic narrative.” In the context of ancient Greek drama, the word episode refers to one of the particular sections or interludes that occur between other parts of the play (the word epeisodion means the same thing and is based on the same root). The suffix -ic is used to form adjectives.

When episodic is used to describe something like a TV show or podcast, it often means that you could watch a random episode and follow the story for the most part. Series that are described as less episodic are those in which each episode is mainly focused on advancing a larger narrative.

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What are some other forms related to episodic

  • episodical (adjective)
  • episodically (adverb)
  • nonepisodic (adjective)
  • episode (noun)

What are some synonyms for episodic?

What are some words that share a root or word element with episodic

What are some words that often get used in discussing episodic?

How is episodic used in real life?

Episodic is most commonly used in the context of installments of things like TV shows and podcasts.


Try using episodic!

Is episodic used correctly in the following sentence? 

The treatment is intended to reduce the frequency of episodic headaches.

How to use episodic in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for episodic



/ (ˌɛpɪˈsɒdɪk) /

resembling or relating to an episode
divided into or composed of episodes
irregular, occasional, or sporadic

Derived forms of episodic

episodically, adverb
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