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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 erratically
  • Football players are tough because they move erratically.
  • He loses focus, and sometimes his temper flares erratically.
  • The two phases alternate erratically, with a typical time scale of three to five years.
  • Their tips rapidly swung back and forth but between these rhythmic flexes, they behaved more erratically.
  • The bus he had to take ran erratically, and he was fired for repeated tardiness.
  • One high pitched shot after another rings out, erratically but quickly.
  • Share prices move around erratically, often for no apparent reason.
  • Difficulties in separating and purifying these varieties could account for results that are only erratically reproducible.
  • He watched carefully for any sign of someone behaving nervously, or erratically.
  • The air conditioning, the elevators and the phones were operating erratically.
British Dictionary definitions for erratically

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 erratically

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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