Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for August 24, 2019 is:
sporadic • spuh-RAD-ik • adjective
: occurring occasionally, singly, or in irregular or random instances
The team’s regular meetings became sporadic over the summer months, when at some points up to half of its members were on vacation.
“Continuous permafrost hugs the Hudson Bay coast and spreads inland about 75 kilometres before becoming discontinuous and sporadic. Like peat, permafrost is an effective storehouse of greenhouse gases.” — Kenyon Wallace, The Toronto Star, 27 May 2019
Did you know?
Sporadic describes the distribution of something across space or time that is not frequent enough to fill an area or period, often in scattered instances or isolated outbursts (as in “sporadic applause”). The word comes from Medieval Latin sporadicus, which is itself derived from Greek sporadēn, meaning “here and there.” It is also related to the Greek verb speirein (“to sow”), the ancestor from which we get our word spore (the reproductive cell of a fungus, microorganism, or some plants), hinting at the seeming scattered nature by which such cells distribute and germinate.