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- Irregular; unsteady; characterized by fits.
- His breathing was fitful.
- 1605, Shakespeare, Macbeth, act III
- […] Duncan is in his grave;
- After life's fitful fever he sleeps well;
- 1851, Herman Melville, Moby Dick, chapter 123
- The cabin lamp—taking long swings this way and that— was burning fitfully, and casting fitful shadows upon the old man’s bolted door [...]
- 2012, The Economist, The economy: Don’t say “green shoots”
- So fitful has Britain’s economy been that any good news is understandably snatched at.
irregular; unsteady; characterized by fits