Word of the Day Archive
Tuesday April 25, 2006
sporadic \spuh-RAD-ik\ , adjective:
Occurring singly, or occasionally, or in scattered instances.
Throughout the early years of Kelly's life, out of guilt as much as out of affection, she suspected, her father would make sporadic reappearances, make ever more incompetent attempts to be a good father to her and a good partner to her mother, before leaving again.
-- Geoff Nicholson, Female Ruins
The land is desperately overpopulated, and the thin soil is so eroded that it can only sustain scattered groups of scrawny cattle or sheep and sporadic crops of maize.
-- Anthony Sampson, Mandela: The Authorized Biography
In most courses he received a simple Pass, a grade designed for bright students with a history of sporadic attendance or other problems.
-- Paul Mariani, The Broken Tower: A Life of Hart Crane
Sporadic derives from Medieval Latin sporadicus, scattered, from Greek sporadikos, from sporas, sporad-, scattered like seed.