Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

sporadic

[spuh-rad-ik]
See more synonyms for sporadic on Thesaurus.com
adjective
  1. (of similar things or occurrences) appearing or happening at irregular intervals in time; occasional: sporadic renewals of enthusiasm.
  2. appearing in scattered or isolated instances, as a disease.
  3. isolated, as a single instance of something; being or occurring apart from others.
  4. occurring singly or widely apart in locality: the sporadic growth of plants.
Show More
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
Related formsspo·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

Synonyms

See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com

Antonyms

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


Examples from the Web for sporadically

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Sporadically and later, it existed further north but not generally.

  • 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


British Dictionary definitions for sporadically

sporadic

adjective
  1. occurring at irregular points in time; intermittentsporadic firing
  2. scattered; isolateda sporadic disease
Show More
Derived Formssporadically, adverbsporadicalness, noun

Word Origin

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

Word Origin and History for sporadically

sporadic

adj.

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.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

sporadically in Medicine

sporadic

(spə-rădĭk, spô-)
adj.
  1. Occurring at irregular intervals.
  2. Occurring singly; not grouped.
Show More
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.