American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- adj. Occurring at irregular intervals; having no pattern or order in time. See Synonyms at periodic.
- adj. Appearing singly or at widely scattered localities, as a plant or disease.
- adj. Isolated; unique: a sporadic example.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Separate; single; scattered; occurring singly, or apart from other things of the same kind; widely or irregularly scattered; of exceptional occurrence (in a given locality); straggling.
- In phytogeography, distributed in several regions: so used specifically by A. P. de Candolle (French sporadique), in contrast with endemic, of plant genera whose species are thus distributed. Compare polydemic.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. Occurring singly, or apart from other things of the same kind, or in scattered instances; separate; single.
- adj. recurring in scattered and irregular or unpredictable instances
- Medieval Latin sporadicus, scattered, from Greek sporadikos, from sporas, sporad-; see sper- in Indo-European roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“They've done a good job in reaching out to what we call sporadic voters.”
“And so I think it's a whole new paradigm for pollsters right now, because they're not sure how to reach these new voters and what they call sporadic voters, which the Obama campaign really thinks they're getting to.”
“But the forward element of the 1st Battalion 7th Marines has pushed into this troubled area and they have reported what they call sporadic fighting that has been taking place up there.”
“Guards at the U.N. compound and Afghan policemen who responded to the site engaged in sporadic gun fights with the three attackers, who were killed by Afghan security forces.”
“And so -- yeah, we met [at the Republican National Convention] and kind of kept in sporadic touch and then met up Christmas last year.”
“He attempted occasional comebacks, but the last 40 years of his career were spent in sporadic engagements in Las Vegas and in second-tier concert halls.”
“He was lying on his side taking in his breath in short sporadic heaves.”
“Most narcolepsy is sporadic, which is to say that the condition is not a straightforward inherited trait.”
“However, inherited cancers are very important as it appears that the genes responsible for, hereditary cancer maybe the same as those involved in sporadic malignancies.”
“On the righthand side of your screen, you are seeing a live picture from Umm Qasr, where for three hours or plus, plus or minus a few minutes, Marines have been trying to deal with a situation of what they are often terming sporadic resistance.”
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