Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

by/in fits and starts

Definition of by/in fits and starts

  1. :  by stopping and starting again :  in a way that is not constant or steady <Their courtship was gradual, proceeding by fits and starts.> <Progress came only in fits and starts.>



Word by Word Definitions

fitplay fits
  1. :  a division of a poem or song

  1. :  adapted to an end or design :  suitable by nature or by art

    :  adapted to the environment so as to be capable of surviving

    :  acceptable from a particular viewpoint (as of competence or morality) :  proper

  1. :  a sudden violent attack of a disease (as epilepsy) especially when marked by convulsions or unconsciousness :  paroxysm

    :  a sudden but transient attack of a physical disturbance

    :  a sudden burst or flurry (as of activity)

  1. :  to be suitable for or to :  harmonize with

    :  to be seemly or proper for

    :  to conform correctly to the shape or size of

  1. :  the fact, condition, or manner of fitting or being fitted: as

    :  the way clothing fits the wearer

    :  the degree of closeness between surfaces in an assembly of parts

  1. : dialect past and past participle of fight

startplay starts
  1. :  to move suddenly and violently :  spring

    :  to react with a sudden brief involuntary movement

    :  to issue with sudden force

  1. :  a sudden involuntary bodily movement or reaction

    :  a brief and sudden action or movement

    :  a sudden capricious impulse or outburst


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up by/in fits and starts? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a simplified speech bridging languages

Get Word of the Day daily email!