[ in-ter-mit-nt ]
/ ˌɪn tərˈmɪt nt /


stopping or ceasing for a time; alternately ceasing and beginning again: an intermittent pain.
alternately functioning and not functioning or alternately functioning properly and improperly.
(of streams, lakes, or springs) recurrent; showing water only part of the time.

Origin of intermittent

1595–1605; < Latin intermittent- (stem of intermittēns) present participle of intermittere to intermit; see -ent

Related forms

Can be confused

continual continuous intermittent (see usage note at continual) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for intermittence

British Dictionary definitions for intermittence


/ (ˌɪntəˈmɪtənt) /


occurring occasionally or at regular or irregular intervals; periodic

Derived Forms

intermittence or intermittency, nounintermittently, 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

Medicine definitions for intermittence


[ ĭn′tər-mĭtnt ]


Stopping and starting at intervals.
Marked by intervals of complete quietude occurring between two periods of activity.

Related forms

in′ter•mittence n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.