in·​ter·​mit·​tent ˌin-tər-ˈmi-tᵊnt How to pronounce intermittent (audio)
: coming and going at intervals : not continuous
intermittent rain
also : occasional
intermittent trips abroad
of a stream or body of water : appearing and disappearing seasonally : sometimes dry
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.
Recent Examples on the Web Gaza’s young population suffered under the blockade and the intermittent violence, but Hamas maintained a lock on power. Marc Lynch, Foreign Affairs, 20 Feb. 2024 That notably includes the unfussy, crystalline naturalism of longtime cinematographer Eric Gautier’s images, the fluid editing, the intermittent bursts of vintage rock. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 17 Feb. 2024 But if the snow is too light or intermittent, then temperatures could remain a degree or two warmer and limit accumulation potential, perhaps even causing the snow to mix with rain, especially from D.C. to the south and east. Dan Stillman, Washington Post, 14 Feb. 2024 The move was the latest in a series of intermittent strikes and a larger summer strike that launched in July when hundreds of hospitality workers at hotels across Southern California took to the streets in protest. Cindy Carcamo, Los Angeles Times, 5 Feb. 2024 Batteries are considered crucial because wind and solar production onto the grid is intermittent. Rob Nikolewski, San Diego Union-Tribune, 25 Jan. 2024 That includes full-time, part-time and intermittent workers, and excludes employees at the California State University and the University of California. Phillip Reese, Sacramento Bee, 25 Jan. 2024 That same year, consumer subsidies of renewables helped the Big Six to earn a profit of £61 per MWh of electricity on average for the higher-cost, intermittent, demand-unresponsive and therefore less valuable renewable outputs. Andrew Puzder, National Review, 5 Feb. 2024 Recent data shows that intermittent fasting may slow aging by triggering cellular repair, decreasing inflammation and balancing hormones. ▪ Reduce stress. Dr. Leslie Baumann, Miami Herald, 30 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'intermittent.' 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 intermittent-, intermittens, present participle of intermittere — see intermit

First Known Use

1601, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of intermittent was in 1601

Dictionary Entries Near intermittent

Cite this Entry

“Intermittent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


in·​ter·​mit·​tent ˌint-ər-ˈmit-ᵊnt How to pronounce intermittent (audio)
: starting, stopping, and starting again
an intermittent fever
intermittently adverb

Medical Definition


in·​ter·​mit·​tent ˌint-ər-ˈmit-ᵊnt How to pronounce intermittent (audio)
: coming and going at intervals : not continuous
intermittent fever
intermittence noun

More from Merriam-Webster on intermittent

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