fitful

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From fit (convulsion, seizure; sudden burst of activity) +‎ -ful (suffix forming adjectives from nouns, with the sense of being full of, tending to, or thoroughly possessing the quality expressed by the noun).[1]

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

fitful (comparative more fitful, superlative most fitful)

  1. (obsolete) Characterized by fits (convulsions or seizures).
  2. (by extension) Characterized by sudden bursts of activity with periods of inactivity in between; intermittent, irregular, unsteady.
    Synonyms: capricious, changeable, changing, erratic, shifting, spasmodic; see also Thesaurus:discontinuous
    Antonyms: unfitful; see also Thesaurus:continuous
    His breathing was fitful.
    Troubled by her unfinished work, she fell into a fitful sleep.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ fitful, adj.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, September 2021; “fitful, adj.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.