intermittent

adjective
in·​ter·​mit·​tent | \ ˌin-tər-ˈmi-tᵊnt \

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

The reinforcement is all the more insidious for being intermittent. Kate Bachelder Odell, WSJ, "It’s Not Too Late to Quit Social Media," 25 Jan. 2019 There was intermittent rain in the area Friday morning. Fox News, "Pumping continues after Honolulu dam scare," 14 Sep. 2018 Parts of the country have struggled to keep the lights on, especially when intermittent sources such as wind and solar weren’t sufficient, and energy prices have soared. David Winning, WSJ, "Divisions on Climate Policy Threaten Australia’s Turnbull," 20 Aug. 2018 While aggressive efforts continue to develop batteries for storing intermittent sources of electricity from solar and wind, utilities in recent years have embraced natural gas for consistent, baseload energy. Joshua Emerson Smith, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Fearing climate change, experts in San Diego warn U.S. nuclear industry faces collapse," 7 July 2018 Widespread confusion may also help explain why intermittent fasting was the most popular code of consumption, at 10 percent. Sophie Egan, chicagotribune.com, "Paleo, keto, fasting, Whole30: Why food tribes are on the rise," 17 May 2018 Instead of coping with the outages and intermittent service of the existing grid, RPPR’s cofounders thought, communities should have sustainable power sources of their own. Diana Budds, Curbed, "How architects and designers are rebuilding Puerto Rico," 20 Sep. 2018 On the one hand, there have been intermittent problems with kickoff coverage, punt protection and field goal accuracy. Zach Osterman, Indianapolis Star, "Tom Allen has special spot for new NCAA-allowed 10th assistant coach," 11 June 2018 Additionally, pilots are reminded that an erroneous AOA can cause some or all of the following indications and effects: - Continuous or intermittent stick shaker on the affected side only. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "Indonesia 737 crash caused by “safety” feature change pilots weren’t told of," 13 Nov. 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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Last Updated

4 Feb 2019

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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 \

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 \

Medical Definition of intermittent

: coming and going at intervals : not continuous intermittent fever

Other Words from intermittent

intermittence \ -​ᵊn(t)s \ noun

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