Origin of fitful
Examples from the Web for fitfully
The U.S. economy is growing, ever fitfully and disappointingly.
Since hitting its lows in 2009, the economy had been fitfully—and then steadily—improving.Forget Ohio—September Jobs Report Was Romney’s Undoing|Daniel Gross|November 7, 2012|DAILY BEAST
It seemed to him that he woke almost immediately; the fire still burned, though low and fitfully on the hearth.Black Spirits and White|Ralph Adams Cram
He slept but fitfully, listening for any sounds from the city without and anxious for the hotel to awaken to its daily routine.Aladdin of London|Sir Max Pemberton
Later in the season, after the young have hatched, he sings only fitfully.
The spring was close at hand before the bloom began to reappear—and then it was but fitfully—in Letty's cheek.Mary Marston|George MacDonald
Milton's clear tenor was heard ringing across the fields, fitfully dying away.A Spoil of Office|Hamlin Garland
used once by Shakespeare ("Macbeth," 1605) in sense of "characterized by fits," then revived by Scott (1810) with a sense of "shifting, changing." From fit (n.2) + -ful. Related: Fitfully; fitfulness.