Sporadic is an adjective that you can use to refer to something that happens or appears often, but not constantly or regularly. The mail carrier comes every day but the plumber's visits are sporadic — he comes as needed.
A specialized use of sporadic is to describe a disease that appears only occasionally in random cases, and is therefore not an epidemic. Mostly, though, you'll hear this word used to describe anything that happens occasionally, like your family's sporadic trips to visit your distant cousins in Ohio or the sporadic bake sales your science club sponsors when it's low on funds. English borrowed the word sporadic from Greek sporadikós, "scattered."