intermittent

adjective
in·​ter·​mit·​tent | \ ˌin-tər-ˈmi-tᵊnt How to pronounce intermittent (audio) \

Definition of intermittent

1 : coming and going at intervals : not continuous intermittent rain also : occasional intermittent trips abroad
2 of a stream or body of water : appearing and disappearing seasonally : sometimes dry

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Other Words from intermittent

intermittently adverb
raining intermittently

Examples of intermittent in a Sentence

In the intermittent light he could make out the shape of a solitary oak tree, spreading great arms from its short tremendous trunk. — Susan Cooper, The Dark is Rising, (1973) 1999 Decades of intermittent but recurring controversies with imperial authorities, and the lodestar of the glorious Revolution, disposed Americans to continue to believe that representation existed, first and foremost, to protect the rights of their communities against the abuse of executive power. — Jack N. Rakove, Original Meanings, 1996 Bronchodilators continue to play an important role in asthma treatment, especially for people who have relatively mild or intermittent attacks. — Stephen Hoffmann, Harvard Medical School Health Letter, June 1991 The patient was having intermittent pains in his side. The forecast is for intermittent rain.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Intermittent problems are the most difficult ones to fix and intermittent electrical problems are even more difficult. Barbara Peterson, Popular Mechanics, "The AirAsia Crash That Killed 162 Was "Utterly Preventable"," 1 Dec. 2015 This discomfort can be mild or intense, persistent or intermittent. Cassie Shortsleeve, SELF, "When to Go to Urgent Care Vs. the ER," 16 Feb. 2019 Nuclear power can be generated consistently, where wind and solar are intermittent by nature. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "The Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez 'Green New Deal' Wants to Get Rid of Nuclear Power. That's a Great Idea.," 8 Feb. 2019 The intermittent outages stemmed from a shutdown at one of its facilities where smoke was noticed during routine maintenance. Emily Glazer, WSJ, "Wells Fargo Outages Hit Online and Mobile Banking," 7 Feb. 2019 Facebook wouldn’t say how many users or livestreams were impacted, but told the bug was intermittent and affected a minority of all Live videos. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Facebook keeps asking for our trust even as it loses control of our data," 13 Oct. 2018 The reception was intermittent, not unlike the air conditioning. New York Times, "For a 90-Minute Game, a Train Ride of 27 Hours," 26 June 2018 Flow is often intermittent and the water quality is uncertain. Scientific American, "Puerto Rico’s Water System Stutters Back to Normal," 14 June 2018 Flow is often intermittent and the water quality is uncertain. Time, "Puerto Rico’s Water System Is Slowly Returning To Normal. But Many Are Being Left Behind," 12 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'intermittent.' 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 intermittent

1601, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for intermittent

Latin intermittent-, intermittens, present participle of intermittere — see intermit

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Statistics for intermittent

Last Updated

1 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for intermittent

The first known use of intermittent was in 1601

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More Definitions for intermittent

intermittent

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of intermittent

: starting, stopping, and starting again : not constant or steady

intermittent

adjective
in·​ter·​mit·​tent | \ ˌin-tər-ˈmi-tᵊnt How to pronounce intermittent (audio) \

Kids Definition of intermittent

: starting, stopping, and starting again intermittent rain

Other Words from intermittent

intermittently adverb

intermittent

adjective
in·​ter·​mit·​tent | \ ˌint-ər-ˈmit-ᵊnt How to pronounce intermittent (audio) \

Medical Definition of intermittent

: coming and going at intervals : not continuous intermittent fever

Other Words from intermittent

intermittence \ -​ᵊn(t)s How to pronounce intermittence (audio) \ noun

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Comments on intermittent

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