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erratic

[ih-rat-ik] /ɪˈræt ɪk/
adjective
1.
deviating from the usual or proper course in conduct or opinion; eccentric; queer:
erratic behavior.
2.
having no certain or definite course; wandering; not fixed:
erratic winds.
3.
Geology. noting or pertaining to a boulder or the like carried by glacial ice and deposited some distance from its place of origin.
4.
(of a lichen) having no attachment to the surface on which it grows.
noun
5.
an erratic or eccentric person.
6.
Geology. an erratic boulder or the like.
Origin of erratic
1325-1375
1325-75; Middle English < Latin errāticus, equivalent to errāt(us) (past participle of errāre to err) + -icus -ic
Related forms
erratically, adverb
erraticism, noun
nonerratic, adjective, noun
nonerratically, adverb
unerratic, adjective
Can be confused
erotic, erratic, exotic.
Synonyms
1. unpredictable, unstable, capricious.
Antonyms
1. consistent, regular, stable.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for erratic
  • The event is erratic and unpredictable, but it occurs roughly every three to seven years.
  • His drinking increased, as did his erratic wandering and his constant difficulties with his parents.
  • My work schedual is erratic so I'm on at different times depending on the day.
  • This is why the ice extent is growing more erratic.
  • Such erratic motion by baitfish can provoke a strike.
  • Over the next two years, his behavior became erratic.
  • He was erratic, sure, but that was entirely within character.
  • He was exhausted, confused and erratic.
  • It's almost a bungling erratic approach.
  • No wonder some within reach thought him erratic.
British Dictionary definitions for erratic

erratic

/ɪˈrætɪk/
adjective
1.
irregular in performance, behaviour, or attitude; inconsistent and unpredictable
2.
having no fixed or regular course; wandering
noun
3.
a piece of rock that differs in composition, shape, etc, from the rock surrounding it, having been transported from its place of origin, esp by glacial action
4.
an erratic person or thing
Derived Forms
erratically, adverb
Word Origin
C14: from Latin errāticus, from errāre to wander, err
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for erratic
adj.

late 14c., "wandering, moving," from Old French erratique (13c.) and directly from Latin erraticus "wandering, straying, roving," from erratum "an error, mistake, fault," past participle of errare "to wander, err" (see err). Sense of "irregular, eccentric" is attested by 1841. The noun is from 1620s, of persons; 1849, of boulders. Related: Erratically.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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