fitful

An adjective that sounds a little like what it means, fitful means stopping and starting, on-again off-again, switching suddenly. I had a fitful night's sleep: I woke up several times throughout the night.

A fit is a disturbance that happens without warning, like a tantrum, tremor, or spasm. If something is fitful, it's "full of fits." A night at the opera is a night of fitful pleasures: the arias are cool, but the rest of the show is boring. I've made only fitful progress trying to lose weight, because I lose only a few pounds at a time, and they almost always come right back: my progress is fitful because it comes in "fits and starts."

Definitions of fitful
1

adj occurring in spells and often abruptly

fitful bursts of energy”
Synonyms:
spasmodic
sporadic
recurring in scattered and irregular or unpredictable instances

adj intermittently stopping and starting

fitful (or interrupted) sleep”
Synonyms:
interrupted, off-and-on
broken
not continuous in space, time, or sequence or varying abruptly

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