fitful

adjective
fit·​ful | \ ˈfit-fəl How to pronounce fitful (audio) \

Definition of fitful

1 obsolete : characterized by fits or paroxysms
2 : having an erratic or intermittent character : irregular

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Other Words from fitful

fitfully \ ˈfit-​fə-​lē How to pronounce fitful (audio) \ adverb
fitfulness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of fitful in a Sentence

He had a few fitful hours of sleep. Several fitful attempts at negotiation have failed.
Recent Examples on the Web The Times obtained a copy of the letter, which complained that the rail authority’s failure to accurately predict land acquisition has tangled construction schedules and caused fitful conditions along the route. Ralph Vartabedian, Los Angeles Times, "Bullet train contractor warns of further two-year delay as state struggles to secure land," 29 Mar. 2021 The pace of change here is fitful, and that has not changed during this pandemic. Los Angeles Times, "It’s been one year. Here’s how our readers feel about L.A. now," 13 Mar. 2021 He got used to a few hours of fitful sleep each night, the 63-year-old said Friday. Robin Erb, Detroit Free Press, "After a hellish year in Michigan, joy from giving doses of COVID-19 vaccines," 1 Mar. 2021 But these are not normal times: A spike in coronavirus cases is threatening the economy's fitful recovery from the sudden plunge in the spring. CBS News, "Black Friday crowds thin as shoppers go online to avoid virus," 28 Nov. 2020 But a spike in coronavirus cases is threatening the economy's fitful recovery from the sudden plunge in the spring. Democrat-gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, "Shopping crowds stay away," 28 Nov. 2020 But these are not normal times: A spike in coronavirus cases is threatening the economy’s fitful recovery from the sudden plunge in the spring. oregonlive, "Virus keeps Black Friday crowds thin, shoppers shift online," 27 Nov. 2020 Their correspondence reveals a fitful courting, with a persistent Vonnegut peppering Cox with declarations of love, even as both attend casual dates with other people. Kurt Vonnegut, The New Yorker, "Letters to Woofy," 23 Nov. 2020 Walking outside in downtown D.C. after the news was out was like waking up from a fitful sleep. Charlotte Clymer, Glamour, "Don’t Just Celebrate the End of the Trump Era. Savor the Beginning of Something Better," 9 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fitful.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of fitful

1592, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for fitful

Last Updated

12 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Fitful.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fitful. Accessed 18 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for fitful

fitful

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of fitful

: not regular or steady

fitful

adjective
fit·​ful | \ ˈfit-fəl How to pronounce fitful (audio) \

Kids Definition of fitful

: not regular or steady fitful sleep

Other Words from fitful

fitfully adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on fitful

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fitful

Nglish: Translation of fitful for Spanish Speakers

Comments on fitful

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