sporadic was our Word of the Day on 11/15/2013. Hear the podcast!
Examples of sporadic in a Sentence
The law was indeed tightened, prohibiting the employment of illegal aliens on the valid assumption that removing the magnet of jobs is necessary to stem illegal immigration. But enforcement was sporadic at best, and has now virtually ceased. —Mark Krikorian, National Review, 26 Jan. 2004
I left Madras twenty years ago. Two marriages and three children later I am a different man from the one who left. My return visits have been sporadic. But there is great delight in a homecoming. —Abraham Verghese, Atlantic, February 2001
The Bronx begins here physically, and it began here historically as well; this was the site of Jonas Bronck's farmhouse. Not much is known about him: he was a Swedish sea captain who was induced to settle the area by the Dutch West India Company. A peace treaty signed at Bronck's house ended years of sporadic but bloody skirmishes between the Dutch and the Weckquasgeeks. —Marcus Laffey, New Yorker, 15 May 2000
Sporadic cases of the disease were reported.
sporadic loud noises kept startling everyone
Recent Examples of sporadic from the Web
Ebola has been causing sporadic outbreaks in various parts of Africa since 1976.
There were sporadic clashes between Vucic’s supporters and his opponents in downtown Belgrade as police prevented demonstrators from reaching the parliament building.
Helicopters frequently buzzed overhead and sporadic gunfire and blasts shattered the eerie silence.
The law also aims to improve health by getting the poor and newly insured back into regular care and away from sporadic clinic visits or expensive options such as emergency rooms.
This, in combination with modest surface heating, is expected to make the air unstable enough to support sporadic showers and storms.
Firefights were described as sporadic on Thursday, and the death toll stood at 31 militants, 11 soldiers and two police officers.
After sporadic training sessions over the previous two seasons, Mike Giron became the Vikings’ full-time throws coach this year.
Naughton, Gosling, and Joy, who had taken a sporadic interest in Oak, trekked many times to Time Warner's technology center in Denver.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sporadic'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Sporadic Has Medieval Latin Roots
Sporadic describes the distribution of something across space or time that is not frequent enough to fill an area or period, often in scattered instances or isolated outbursts (as in "sporadic applause"). The word comes from Medieval Latin sporadicus, which is itself derived from Greek sporadēn, meaning "here and there." It is also related to the Greek verb speirein ("to sow"), the ancestor from which we get our word spore (the reproductive cell of a fungus, microorganism, or some plants), hinting at the seeming scattered nature by which such cells distribute and germinate.
Origin and Etymology of sporadic
Medieval Latin sporadicus, from Greek sporadikos, from sporadēn here and there, from sporad-, sporas scattered; akin to Greek speirein to sow — more at sperm
First Known Use: circa 1689
Synonym Discussion of sporadic
Medical Definition of sporadic
Seen and Heard
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