- 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for intermittency
The precise character of the sound depends entirely upon the rapidity of the intermittency.The Romance of War Inventions
Thomas W. Corbin
The intermittency of the social life, on the other hand, is inevitable; even the most idealistic religions cannot escape it.The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life
The only things which make intimacy with a woman agreeable are difficulty and intermittency.The Career of Katherine Bush
List any demonstrable effects of intermittency of streams on fish distribution within the area.
Variable climate characteristic of the region studied causes recurrent floods and intermittency in streams.
- occurring occasionally or at regular or irregular intervals; periodic
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 intermittency
c.1600, from Latin intermittentem (nominative intermittens), present participle of intermittere (see intermission). Related: Intermittently.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- Stopping and starting at intervals.
- Marked by intervals of complete quietude occurring between two periods of activity.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.