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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Legal experts see Kavanaugh also joining conservatives to curtail the application of anti-pollution rules on wetlands and intermittent streams. Dino Grandoni, Washington Post, "The Energy 202: How Brett Kavanaugh could rein in environmental rules on the Supreme Court," 11 July 2018 During intermittent explosions at Kilauea’s summit, including one late Thursday, ash shoots high into the sky and drifts down onto the small, rural campus and nearby areas. Washington Post, "Hawaii school cleans, but ash still coats desks, floors," 25 May 2018 During intermittent explosions at Kilauea's summit, including one late Thursday, ash shoots high into the sky and drifts down onto the small, rural campus and nearby areas. Jennifer Sinco Kelleher, chicagotribune.com, "Final exams moved to gym as ash fills Hawaii classroom," 25 May 2018 There continues to be intermittent explosions at the summit that have been sending plumes of ash into the sky. Jennifer Sinco Kelleher, Fox News, "Lava from Hawaii volcano enters ocean from 3 flows," 24 May 2018 There are intermittent pleasures, including Ms. Campbell, who seems ready to transition to a new career phase playing hard-hitting maternal types with Mona Lisa smiles. New York Times, "Review: In ‘Skyscraper,’ Dwayne Johnson Scales a Tower of Clichés," 11 July 2018 The work also will include intermittent sidewalk and curb and gutter replacement, surface drainage correction, sewer structure repairs as required and parkway restoration. Hank Beckman, chicagotribune.com, "La Grange approves road resurfacing to begin this summer," 10 July 2018 That’s especially true with intermittent conditions such as atrial fibrillation, Steinhubl said. Bradley J. Fikes, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Wearable heart monitor catches undiagnosed atrial fibrillation, JAMA study finds," 10 July 2018 The dealer also adjusted the front-wheel alignment and inspected the steering column, which produces an intermittent groaning sound when the driver twirls the wheel. Mike Sutton, Car and Driver, "2016 Nissan Titan XD Diesel," 15 Feb. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about intermittent

Share intermittent

Statistics for intermittent

Last Updated

14 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for intermittent

The first known use of intermittent was in 1601

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on intermittent

What made you want to look up intermittent? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a private place of worship

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!