1. recurring in scattered and irregular or unpredictable instances
; - Example: "a city subjected to sporadic bombing raids"
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Sporadic \Spo*rad"ic\ (-r[a^]d"[i^]k), a. [Gr. ? scattered, fr.
?, ?, scattered, fr. ? to sow seed, to scatter like seed: cf.
F. sporadique. See Spore.]
Occurring singly, or apart from other things of the same
kind, or in scattered instances; separate; single; as, a
sporadic fireball; a sporadic case of disease; a sporadic
example of a flower.
Sporadic disease (Med.), a disease which occurs in single
and scattered cases. See the Note under Endemic, a.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
adj 1: recurring in scattered and irregular or unpredictable
instances; "a city subjected to sporadic bombing raids"
Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:
165 Moby Thesaurus words for "sporadic":
aimless, amorphous, broadcast, broken, capricious, careening,
casual, catching, catchy, chance, changeable, changing, choppy,
communicable, contagious, desultory, deviating, deviative,
deviatory, different, diffuse, disarticulated, disconnected,
discontinuous, discrete, disjunct, disordered, disorderly,
dispersed, dispread, disproportionate, disseminated, dissipated,
distributed, divaricate, divergent, diversified, diversiform,
eccentric, endemic, epidemial, epidemic, epiphytotic, epizootic,
erose, erratic, few, fitful, flickering, fluctuating, formless,
frivolous, gratuitous, guttering, halting, haphazard, herky-jerky,
heteroclite, hit-or-miss, immethodical, impulsive, inchoate,
incoherent, inconsistent, inconstant, indiscriminate, infectious,
infective, inoculable, intermittent, intermitting, irregular,
jagged, jerky, lurching, meaningless, mercurial, misshapen, motley,
mutable, nonconformist, nonstandard, nonsymmetrical, nonsystematic,
nonuniform, occasional, on-again-off-again, orderless, pandemic,
patchy, periodical, pestiferous, pestilential, planless,
pluralistic, promiscuous, ragged, rambling, random, rare, rough,
scarce, scattered, scrappy, seldom, senseless, separate, shapeless,
single, snatchy, sparse, spasmatic, spasmic, spasmodic,
spasmodical, spastic, spotty, spread, spreading, staggering,
straggling, straggly, strewn, strown, systemless, taking,
unarranged, uncertain, unclassified, uncommon, undirected,
unequable, unequal, uneven, unexpected, unfrequent, ungraded,
unjoined, unmethodical, unmetrical, unordered, unorganized,
unorthodox, unregular, unrhythmical, unsettled, unsorted, unstable,
unsteady, unsymmetrical, unsystematic, ununiform, vague, variable,
variegated, variform, various, varying, veering, wandering,
wavering, widespread, wobbling, wobbly, zymotic