Dictionary

sporadic

adjective spo·rad·ic \spə-ˈra-dik\

: happening often but not regularly : not constant or steady

Full Definition of SPORADIC

:  occurring occasionally, singly, or in irregular or random instances <sporadic protests> <a sporadic disease>
spo·rad·i·cal·ly \-di-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Examples of SPORADIC

  1. Sporadic cases of the disease were reported.
  2. <sporadic loud noises kept startling everyone>
  3. The law was indeed tightened, prohibiting the employment of illegal aliens on the valid assumption that removing the magnet of jobs is necessary to stem illegal immigration. But enforcement was sporadic at best, and has now virtually ceased. —Mark Krikorian, National Review, 26 Jan. 2004

Origin of SPORADIC

Medieval Latin sporadicus, from Greek sporadikos, from sporadēn here and there, from sporad-, sporas scattered; akin to Greek speirein to sow — more at sperm
First Known Use: circa 1689

Synonym Discussion of SPORADIC

infrequent, uncommon, scarce, rare, sporadic mean not common or abundant. infrequent implies occurrence at wide intervals in space or time <infrequent family visits>. uncommon suggests a frequency below normal expectation <smallpox is now uncommon in many countries>. scarce implies falling short of a standard or required abundance <jobs were scarce during the Depression>. rare suggests extreme scarcity or infrequency and often implies consequent high value <rare first editions>. sporadic implies occurrence in scattered instances or isolated outbursts <sporadic cases of influenza>.
Medical Dictionary

sporadic

adjective spo·rad·ic \spə-ˈrad-ik\

Medical Definition of SPORADIC

1
:  occurring occasionally, singly, or in scattered instances <sporadic diseases>—compare endemic, epidemic 1
2
:  arising or occurring randomly with no known cause <sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease>
spo·rad·i·cal·ly \-i-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

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