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. English borrowed the word sporadic from Greek sporadikós "scattered." A very near synonym is intermittent.

Definitions of sporadic

adj recurring in scattered and irregular or unpredictable instances

“a city subjected to sporadic bombing raids”
fitful, spasmodic
occurring in spells and often abruptly
stopping and starting at irregular intervals
occasional, periodic
recurring or reappearing from time to time
irregular, unpredictable
not occurring at expected times
isolated, stray
not close together in time
discontinuous, noncontinuous
not continuing without interruption in time or space
not frequent; not occurring regularly or at short intervals
occurring without interruption; chiefly restricted to what recurs regularly or frequently in a prolonged and closely spaced series
insistent, repetitive
repetitive and persistent
continually repeated over a period of time
perennial, recurrent, repeated
recurring again and again
persistent, relentless, unrelenting
recurring, revenant
coming back
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