sporadic

[spuh-rad-ik]
adjective
1.
(of similar things or occurrences) appearing or happening at irregular intervals in time; occasional: sporadic renewals of enthusiasm.
2.
appearing in scattered or isolated instances, as a disease.
3.
isolated, as a single instance of something; being or occurring apart from others.
4.
occurring singly or widely apart in locality: the sporadic growth of plants.
Also, sporadical.


Origin:
1680–90; < Medieval Latin sporadicus < Greek sporadikós, equivalent to sporad- (stem of sporás strewn, akin to sporá spore) + -ikos -ic

sporadically, adverb
sporadicalness, noun
sporadicity [spawr-uh-dis-i-tee, spohr-] , sporadism, noun


3. separate, unconnected.


1. continuous.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
sporadic (spəˈrædɪk)
 
adj
1.  occurring at irregular points in time; intermittent: sporadic firing
2.  scattered; isolated: a sporadic disease
 
[C17: from Medieval Latin sporadicus, from Greek sporadikos, from sporas scattered; related to Greek speirein to sow; see spore]
 
spo'radically
 
adv
 
spo'radicalness
 
n

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

sporadic
1650s (implied in sporadical), from M.L. sporadicus "scattered," from Gk. sporadikos "scattered," from sporas (gen. sporados) "scattered," from spora "a sowing" (see spore). Originally a medical term, "occurring in scattered instances;" the meaning "happening at intervals"
is first recorded 1847. Related: Sporadically.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

sporadic spo·rad·ic (spə-rād'ĭk, spô-) or spo·rad·i·cal (-ĭ-kəl)
adj.

  1. Occurring at irregular intervals.

  2. Occurring singly; not grouped.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Example sentences
There is no bridge to the island and riverboat access is seasonal and sporadic.
The pre-dawn ocean was violently churning and downpours of rain were sporadic.
Since then supporters loyal to both figures have been involved in sporadic,
  often violent, clashes.
Meanwhile research in the area of alcoholism which had been desultory, erratic
  and sporadic intensified.
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