sporadic

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Synonym Chooser

How is the word sporadic distinct from other similar adjectives?

Some common synonyms of sporadic are infrequent, rare, scarce, and uncommon. While all these words mean "not common or abundant," sporadic implies occurrence in scattered instances or isolated outbursts.

sporadic cases of influenza

When is it sensible to use infrequent instead of sporadic?

Although the words infrequent and sporadic have much in common, infrequent implies occurrence at wide intervals in space or time.

infrequent family visits

When is rare a more appropriate choice than sporadic?

The meanings of rare and sporadic largely overlap; however, rare suggests extreme scarcity or infrequency and often implies consequent high value.

rare first editions

Where would scarce be a reasonable alternative to sporadic?

While the synonyms scarce and sporadic are close in meaning, scarce implies falling short of a standard or required abundance.

jobs were scarce during the Depression

When would uncommon be a good substitute for sporadic?

The synonyms uncommon and sporadic are sometimes interchangeable, but uncommon suggests a frequency below normal expectation.

smallpox is now uncommon in many countries

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Cite this Entry

“Sporadic.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/sporadic. Accessed 6 Feb. 2023.

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