• WordNet 3.6
    • adj sporadic recurring in scattered and irregular or unpredictable instances "a city subjected to sporadic bombing raids"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • a Sporadic 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.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • sporadic Separate; single; scattered; occurring singly, or apart from other things of the same kind; widely or irregularly scattered; of exceptional occurrence (in a given locality); straggling.
    • sporadic In phytogeography, distributed in several regions: so used specifically by A. P. de Candolle (French sporadique), in contrast with endemic, of plant genera whose species are thus distributed. Compare polydemic.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Sporadic spō-rad′ik scattered—a term specially applied to any disease usually epidemic or contagious, when it attacks only a few persons in a district and does not spread in its ordinary manner
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Gr. scattered, fr. , , scattered, fr. to sow seed, to scatter like seed: cf. F. sporadique,. See Spore
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Gr. sporadikossporas, sporados, scattered—speirein, to sow.


In literature:

These disgraces were sporadic, not general, and occurred, when they did occur, under terrible provocation.
"History of the United States, Volume 5" by E. Benjamin Andrews
The alterations of meningitis and laminitis are identical with those of sporadic cases of founder and inflammation of the brain.
"Special Report on Diseases of the Horse" by United States Department of Agriculture
Even in New England there was sporadic revolt from the beginning.
"The American Mind" by Bliss Perry
It is clear that when the big rains do come they are more sporadic and uncertain than formerly.
"Under the Maples" by John Burroughs
The entire prophetic order and institute bears rather a sporadic character.
"Christology of the Old Testament: And a Commentary on the Messianic Predictions, v. 1" by Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg
Its leadership up to the present time has been of the sporadic and discontinuous sort.
"The Evolution of the Country Community" by Warren H. Wilson
The few sporadic attempts we made at cheer did not get very far.
"Wings of the Wind" by Credo Harris
A sporadic outburst of jayhawker warfare generally ensued.
"The Missourian" by Eugene P. (Eugene Percy) Lyle
Brawls were sporadic and usually fatal.
"Master of the Moondog" by Stanley Mullen
The dynamiting was now something more than sporadic.
"Ancestors" by Gertrude Atherton
Craig, Klein and I worked at it in brief and sporadic shifts.
"Stamped Caution" by Raymond Zinke Gallun
Sporadic cases of Blue Martian flared up all over the continent.
"Category Phoenix" by Boyd Ellanby
Then sporadic rumours began to creep about, and the atmosphere became charged.
"Forging the Blades" by Bertram Mitford
Lions are very sporadic.
"In the Whirl of the Rising" by Bertram Mitford
Signs of tree worship and of belief in transmigration are sporadic.
"Man, Past and Present" by Agustus Henry Keane
Common sporadically in winter.
"A Check-List of the Birds of Idaho" by M. Dale Arvey
This cult was not a sudden sporadic flowering of strange blooms in the frail hands of a few undergraduates.
"Oscar Wilde" by Arthur Ransome
It is an abnormal and sporadic case, to be treated physiologically rather than philosophically.
"A New Atmosphere" by Gail Hamilton
There had been sporadic fighting in Macedonia between the Allies for some months past.
"The Balkan Wars" by Jacob Gould Schurman
There are, indeed, traces of both a national and a Christian criticism, but they are hardly more than sporadic.
"A History of Literary Criticism in the Renaissance" by Joel Elias Spingarn

In news:

At first I was feeling a bit guilty about my sporadic blogging this week.
As if in a hangover from "The Hangover," " Due Date " strives to snatch hilarity from the jaws of desperation, with sporadic, stumbling success.
I've had sporadic internet access this past week while traveling during the holidays, which has been unfortunate as there have been many interesting dicussions.
For baseball, it's a time even a sporadic fan may check the papers for the unfolding narrative of the series and watch a few innings of this most American sport.
Sporadic Fighting Continues After Major Offensive North of Baghdad.
Power outage affects more than 900 in sporadic fashion in West Seattle.
A sporadic power outage with no cause yet determined has shut out the lights for more than 600 customers in West Seattle.
Sporadic damage throughout Herkimer County.
Lyles sporadic in loss to Diamondbacks.
Tennessee hunting success sporadic .
Michael Phelps 'a long way' from top form after sporadic training.
Sporadically used in the U.S.until recently.
The group's sporadic attacks began in April and ended with a truce in October.
Although the band continued to tour and churn out singles through the late '80s, Sawyer Brown had only sporadic hits.
Sporadic fighting between Sunni Muslims and Alawites has killed 16 people.

In science:

Using the Luthar–Passi method, we investigate the classical Zassenhaus conjecture for the normalized unit group of the integral group ring of the Suzuki sporadic simple group Suz.
Integral group ring of the Suzuki sporadic simple group
Let G denote the Suzuki sporadic simple group Suz.
Integral group ring of the Suzuki sporadic simple group
In this section we denote by G the Suzuki sporadic simple group Suz.
Integral group ring of the Suzuki sporadic simple group
On the structure of integral group rings of sporadic groups.
Integral group ring of the Suzuki sporadic simple group
In fact, J1 is the only sporadic simple group for which the GH holds.
Freyd's generating hypothesis with almost split sequences
For certain sporadic surfaces the definition above produces a collection of disconnected points, and so a slightly different definition is used.
Random Heegaard splittings
The upper bound of 100 was chosen so as to include all the sporadic groups.
Finite simple groups with narrow prime spectrum
We identify the sporadic simple group M12 and the simple group SL3 (3) from some part of their 3-local structure and give a graph theoretic analogue of the resulting theorem.
A 3-local characterization of M_12 and SL_3(3)
Suzuki and Ree groups, (7) remaining exceptional simple groups of Lie type, (8) sporadic simple groups.
Second maximal subgroups of the finite alternating and symmetric groups
Monster sporadic simple group (see [FLM, p.319]); the name “Griess algebra” is derived from this fact.
Simplicity of a vertex operator algebra whose Griess algebra is the Jordan algebra of symmetric matrices
We may assume that r is sufficiently large such that there are no sporadic groups in S1 (G) nor alternating groups of degree less than 17.
Bounds on the number and sizes of conjugacy classes in finite Chevalley groups with Applications to Derangements
By the classification of the finite simple groups, Theorem 1.1 covers all the simple groups except of finitely many sporadic groups (for which the theorem is trivial) and the alternating groups.
Finite simple groups of Lie type as expanders
These two sporadic groups were originally discovered by J.
Simultaneous Constructions of the Sporadic Groups Co_2 and Fi_{22}
Conway discovered three sporadic simple groups which he defined in terms of the automorphism group A = Aut(Λ) of the 24-dimensional Leech lattice Λ, see also .
Simultaneous Constructions of the Sporadic Groups Co_2 and Fi_{22}
Fischer found three sporadic simple groups by characterizing the finite groups G that can be generated by a conjugacy class D = zG of ptranspositions, which means that the product of two elements of D has order 1, 2, or p, where p is an odd prime.
Simultaneous Constructions of the Sporadic Groups Co_2 and Fi_{22}