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fitful (adj) intermittent; happening only for short periods.
Fitful sleep is disturbed sleep for short periods and not continuous. A fitful fever is a fever that troubles you on and off and not for a continuous period. Fitful showers are rain which is intermittent, that is, raining for short period, stopping, and then raining again and so on.
- The activity at the site of the dam had been fitful as the fund flow was not steady, but once sufficient funds were released, the work went on steadily and the delay was minimized.
- He had fitful sleep all the night because of a high fever, and after an injection the next morning he slept through the day.