: occurring occasionally, singly, or in irregular or random instances
Since the region only receives sporadic rainfall, it is not conducive to growing most crops.
"His wife, Harriet, however, was a sweetie, a sculptress by occupation who displayed a sporadic enthusiasm for the history of the house, like a child who picked up a toy for a while then soon became bored once something more interesting came along." - From Kate Ellis' 2013 novel The Shadow Collector
Did You Know?
"Sporadic" describes the distribution of something across space or time that is not frequent enough to fill an area or period, often in scattered instances or isolated outbursts (as in "sporadic applause"). The word comes from Medieval Latin "sporadicus," which is itself derived from Greek "sporadēn," meaning "here and there." It is also related to the Greek verb "speirein" ("to sow"), the ancestor from which we get our word "spore" (the reproductive cell of a fungus, microorganism, or some plants), hinting at the seeming scattered nature by which such cells distribute and germinate.
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Name That Synonym
Fill in the blanks to create a synonym of "sporadic": itritn. The answer is …