spo·​rad·​i·​cal·​ly spə-ˈra-di-k(ə-)lē How to pronounce sporadically (audio)
: in a sporadic manner : not regularly or constantly
gunfire being heard sporadically
software updates that appear sporadically
Originally from the western Pacific Ocean, the shrimp have been spotted sporadically in U.S. waters for the past two decades.Rick Jervis
Even when the sun is being well behaved, parcels of plasma shoot sporadically toward Earth's dark side, prompting a bright aurora and intensifying radiation belts.Tim Beardsley

Examples of sporadically in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web As part of larger efforts to control independent civil society, the government of President Mahmoud Abbas has sporadically frozen the center’s bank account. Robin Wright, The New Yorker, 22 Mar. 2024 Although deepwater orcas have been spotted sporadically over the years, the study solidifies the hypothesis of a new subtype. Paul Smaglik, Discover Magazine, 20 Mar. 2024 Recently, donations have started to trickle in again as volunteers sporadically gain access to the internet using billionaire Elon Musk’s Starlink system in some places. Reuters, NBC News, 6 Mar. 2024 Then, counties usually update results sporadically on election night as results roll in from polling places across the state. Sasha Hupka, The Arizona Republic, 19 Mar. 2024 And in some sections where the legacy paving had sporadically been replaced with plain paving, the conservancy is bringing back the ornate patterns. Anna Kodé, New York Times, 15 Mar. 2024 Werfel said the agency’s non-filer programs have only run sporadically since 2016 due to lack of funding and staffing. Fatima Hussein, Fortune, 1 Mar. 2024 Most schools already have rules regulating student phone use, but they are enforced sporadically. Jocelyn Gecker, The Christian Science Monitor, 27 Feb. 2024 The Plaza bunnies, now more than 100 years old, have a long and sporadically documented history. Sidney Steele, Kansas City Star, 7 Mar. 2024

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

Word History

First Known Use

1681, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of sporadically was in 1681

Dictionary Entries Near sporadically

Cite this Entry

“Sporadically.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sporadically. Accessed 15 Apr. 2024.

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