in·​fre·​quent (ˌ)in-ˈfrē-kwənt How to pronounce infrequent (audio)
: seldom happening or occurring : rare
: placed or occurring at wide intervals in space or time
a slope dotted with infrequent pines
infrequent visits
infrequently adverb
Choose the Right Synonym for infrequent

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

Examples of infrequent in a Sentence

We made infrequent stops along the way. a shut-in who made infrequent trips to the store
Recent Examples on the Web Our transit system options do not run frequently enough to simply delete parking requirements and force residents to consider ride-shares or waiting for infrequent public transit. Phillip Molnar, San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 Nov. 2023 Christmas cactus needs cool, bright light and infrequent waterings. Lynn Coulter, Better Homes & Gardens, 22 Oct. 2023 The standard maps four levels of likelihood (reasonable, probable, occasional, infrequent) and the four levels of consequence (catastrophic, critical, marginal, negligible) to a set of four integrity levels (see Table 1). IEEE Spectrum, 14 Oct. 2023 But work on system-level suppression is far behind, Rein argues, raising the specter of infrequent but potentially catastrophic incidents. Gregory Barber, WIRED, 8 Sep. 2023 Your kidneys start to retain water, causing infrequent and darker urination. Ashley Thess, Outdoor Life, 30 Aug. 2023 Getting enough water and fiber in your diet can help avoid hard, infrequent, or painful bowel movements.1 Two tablespoons of chia seeds alone provide 10 grams of fiber. Stephanie Brown, Verywell Health, 9 Aug. 2023 Those reunions were infrequent, and, by 1981, the strain on their relationship had begun to show. David O’Neill, The New Yorker, 24 Oct. 2023 For infrequent travelers, the Gold Delta SkyMiles® American Express Card can be a better fit with a $0 intro annual fee the first year, then $99 after that. Ben Luthi,, 20 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'infrequent.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin infrequent-, infrequens, from in- + frequent-, frequens frequent

First Known Use

1622, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of infrequent was in 1622

Dictionary Entries Near infrequent

Cite this Entry

“Infrequent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


in·​fre·​quent (ˈ)in-ˈfrē-kwənt How to pronounce infrequent (audio)
: seldom happening or occurring
: not placed, made, or done at frequent intervals
made infrequent stops
infrequently adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on infrequent

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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