Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

intermittent

[in-ter-mit-nt]
See more synonyms for intermittent on Thesaurus.com
adjective
  1. stopping or ceasing for a time; alternately ceasing and beginning again: an intermittent pain.
  2. alternately functioning and not functioning or alternately functioning properly and improperly.
  3. (of streams, lakes, or springs) recurrent; showing water only part of the time.
Show More

Origin of intermittent

1595–1605; < Latin intermittent- (stem of intermittēns) present participle of intermittere to intermit; see -ent
Related formsin·ter·mit·tence, in·ter·mit·ten·cy, nounin·ter·mit·tent·ly, adverbnon·in·ter·mit·tence, nounnon·in·ter·mit·tent, adjectivenon·in·ter·mit·tent·ly, adverbnon·in·ter·mit·tent·ness, nounun·in·ter·mit·tent, adjectiveun·in·ter·mit·tent·ly, adverb
Can be confusedcontinual continuous intermittent (see usage note at continual)

Synonyms

See more synonyms for intermittent on Thesaurus.com
1. interrupted, sporadic.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for intermittent

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • At last they died off softly, like the intermittent drops that end a day of rain.

  • He had intermittent periods of numbness in the lower half of his body.

  • From within it there came a tiny hum, intermittent, almost inaudible.

    Slaves of Mercury

    Nat Schachner

  • It is a kind of attention which we pay to ourselves, and is intermittent rather than continuous.

  • Jeff's face had cleared of its brooding and its intermittent scowl.

    The Prisoner

    Alice Brown


British Dictionary definitions for intermittent

intermittent

adjective
  1. occurring occasionally or at regular or irregular intervals; periodic
Show More
Derived Formsintermittence 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

Word Origin and History for intermittent

adj.

c.1600, from Latin intermittentem (nominative intermittens), present participle of intermittere (see intermission). Related: Intermittently.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

intermittent in Medicine

intermittent

(ĭn′tər-mĭtnt)
adj.
  1. Stopping and starting at intervals.
  2. Marked by intervals of complete quietude occurring between two periods of activity.
Show More
Related formsin′ter•mittence n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.