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Occurring in or characterized by intermittent bursts, as of activity; irregular: "My sleep, when it came, was fitful" (Kelly Braffet).

fit′ful·ly adv.
fit′ful·ness n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.fitfulness - the quality of being spasmodic and irregular
unregularity, irregularity - not characterized by a fixed principle or rate; at irregular intervals
spasticity - the quality of moving or acting in spasms
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
As to fitfulness, I have never learnt the art of binding myself to any of the wheels on which the Ixions of these days are turning round and round.
The scientific study of parapsychological (psi) phenomena has never been an easy task, surviving, sometimes barely, a perfect storm of opposing forces: the seeming fitfulness of the phenomena, an organized and sometimes nasty movement to prohibit their mere study, and, on the other extreme, the uncritical acceptance of various evidence-free and self-contradictory beliefs (Cardena, 2011, 2015b).
The romance flits between past and present, meanwhile, with stories narrated from within stories like inset Russian nesting dolls, exhibiting "fitfulness" and "impatience" and violating the unity of the work in both conception and execution (467-8).