[ spuh-rad-ik ]
/ spəˈræd ɪk /


(of similar things or occurrences) appearing or happening at irregular intervals in time; occasional: sporadic renewals of enthusiasm.
appearing in scattered or isolated instances, as a disease.
isolated, as a single instance of something; being or occurring apart from others.
occurring singly or widely apart in locality: the sporadic growth of plants.
Sometimes spo·rad·i·cal.

Origin of sporadic

1680–90; < Medieval Latin sporadicus < Greek sporadikós, equivalent to sporad- (stem of sporás strewn, akin to sporá spore) + -ikos -ic


spo·rad·i·cal·ly, adverbspo·rad·i·cal·ness, nounspo·ra·dic·i·ty [spawr-uh-dis-i-tee, spohr-] /ˌspɔr əˈdɪs ɪ ti, ˌspoʊr-/, spo·ra·dism, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for sporadic

British Dictionary definitions for sporadic

/ (spəˈrædɪk) /


occurring at irregular points in time; intermittentsporadic firing
scattered; isolateda sporadic disease

Derived forms of sporadic

sporadically, adverbsporadicalness, noun

Word Origin for sporadic

C17: from Medieval Latin sporadicus, from Greek sporadikos, from sporas scattered; related to Greek speirein to sow; see spore
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

Medical definitions for sporadic

[ spə-rădĭk, spô- ]


Occurring at irregular intervals.
Occurring singly; not grouped.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.