9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[in-ter-mit-nt] /ˌɪn tərˈmɪt nt/
stopping or ceasing for a time; alternately ceasing and beginning again:
an intermittent pain.
alternately functioning and not functioning or alternately functioning properly and improperly.
(of streams, lakes, or springs) recurrent; showing water only part of the time.
Origin of intermittent
1595-1605; < Latin intermittent- (stem of intermittēns) present participle of intermittere to intermit; see -ent
Related forms
intermittence, intermittency, noun
intermittently, adverb
nonintermittence, noun
nonintermittent, adjective
nonintermittently, adverb
nonintermittentness, noun
unintermittent, adjective
unintermittently, adverb
Can be confused
continual, continuous, intermittent (see usage note at continual)
1. interrupted, sporadic. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for intermittent
  • Give yourself intermittent deadlines and take them seriously.
  • Such a dialogue has been largely missing or, at best, intermittent.
  • It will be interesting to see how people cope with intermittent ash fall for a few months.
  • At first, meetups were loosely tracked through intermittent emails to a list of known organizers.
  • By a slow intermittent subsidence, islet after islet sank beneath the verdant swamps.
  • Thunder rolled with menacing crashes up the valley and scattered through the woods in intermittent batteries.
  • But the bubbles were intermittent and difficult to measure.
  • The backbone transmission idea is designed to address one of the chief drawbacks of wind power-its intermittent availability.
  • The railways face intermittent problems due to political unrest in some regions.
  • Firefly light is usually intermittent, and flashes in patterns that are unique to each species.
British Dictionary definitions for intermittent


occurring occasionally or at regular or irregular intervals; periodic
Derived Forms
intermittence, intermittency, noun
intermittently, adverb
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 intermittent

c.1600, from Latin intermittentem (nominative intermittens), present participle of intermittere (see intermission). Related: Intermittently.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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intermittent in Medicine

intermittent in·ter·mit·tent (ĭn'tər-mĭt'nt)

  1. Stopping and starting at intervals.

  2. Marked by intervals of complete quietude occurring between two periods of activity.

in'ter·mit'tence n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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