- (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.
Origin of sporadic
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Related Wordsseldom, intermittently, occasionally, rarely, sparingly, infrequently, periodically, hardly, little, scarcely, uncommonly, unusually, again, betimes, sometimes, alternately, cyclically
Examples from the Web for sporadically
The rally had been eagerly attended, was sporadically enthusiastic, and left almost no impression once it was over.Scott Walker: Too Boring to Beat
Ana Marie Cox
November 5, 2014
After all, al Qaeda and ISIS have sporadically fought with one another, and the Saddam regime is long gone.White House Has No International Legal Justification for Hitting ISIS in Syria
September 23, 2014
Sporadically there are boxes with recipes in them, not food recipes, but life ones.It’s Not Just the Vaccines. Jenny McCarthy’s New Book Offers More ‘Lessons’
April 28, 2014
Limited camping and sleeping spots in a manga-cat-themed ‘resort’ are sporadically available for the truly cat-crazed.The Cat's Meow: Top 10 Destinations for Feline Fanatics
December 20, 2013
"Aha moment" is quite old—our earliest citation is from a 1939 psychology text—but it was used only sporadically for a long time.New Words Added to Merriam-Webster Dictionary: ‘Man Cave,’ ‘Sexting,’ and More
Kory L. Stamper
August 14, 2012
Sporadically and later, it existed further north but not generally.The English Village Community
In Oceania pottery is unknown save in the West, and there only sporadically.Evolution in Art
Alfred C. Haddon
In the child these do not appear at all, or but sporadically.
On the other side, if used only sporadically, it is a matter of tone-color.English Verse
Raymond MacDonald Alden, Ph.D.
She was petulant with the children, though she adored them--at least, sporadically.The Precipice
Elia Wilkinson Peattie
- occurring at irregular points in time; intermittentsporadic firing
- scattered; isolateda sporadic disease
Word Origin and History for sporadically
1650s (implied in sporadical), from Medieval Latin sporadicus "scattered," from Greek sporadikos "scattered," from sporas (genitive sporados) "scattered," from spora "a sowing" (see spore). Originally a medical term, "occurring in scattered instances;" the meaning "happening at intervals" is first recorded 1847. Related: Sporadically.
- Occurring at irregular intervals.
- Occurring singly; not grouped.