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

fitful

play
adjective fit·ful \ˈfit-fəl\

Simple Definition of fitful

  • : not regular or steady

Full Definition of fitful

  1. 1 obsolete :  characterized by fits or paroxysms

  2. 2 :  having an erratic or intermittent character :  irregular

fit·ful·ly play \-fə-lē\ adverb
fit·ful·ness noun

Examples of fitful

  1. He had a few fitful hours of sleep.

  2. Several fitful attempts at negotiation have failed.



1592

First Known Use of fitful

1592

Synonym Discussion of fitful

fitful, spasmodic, convulsive mean lacking steadiness or regularity in movement. fitful implies intermittence, a succession of starts and stops or risings and fallings <fitful sleep>. spasmodic adds to fitful the implication of rapid or violent activity alternating with inactivity <spasmodic growth>. convulsive suggests the breaking of regularity or quiet by uncontrolled movement <convulsive shocks>.


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up fitful? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 7, 2016

a slight offense

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

spindrift duvet kittly-benders pince-nez
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ