Meaning of in fits and starts in English:

in fits and starts

See synonyms for in fits and starts


(also by fits and starts)
  • With irregular bursts of activity.

    ‘the economy was recovering in fits and starts’
    • ‘The poetry is moving forward in fits and starts.’
    • ‘This year's harvest is going in fits and starts, punctuated by incredibly hot days of activity and frustrating rest periods.’
    • ‘The improvement came slowly, sporadically, in fits and starts.’
    • ‘All too often, science progresses in fits and starts, re-examining data, reinterpreting evidence - a path that can be hard to accept in medicine, when answers are needed now.’
    • ‘We played in fits and starts and never really clicked and opened up, but we're happy with the points.’
    • ‘The Roman occupation of Britain advanced in fits and starts with the occasional disaster - the bloody revolt of Queen Boadicea in 61 AD is the best known example.’
    • ‘I've started adding mine, but it'll be done in fits and starts…’
    • ‘It was built in 1961, and it's been renovated in fits and starts, so it's sort of an architectural Frankenstein.’
    • ‘Progress has come in fits and starts and is still fragile.’
    • ‘However, like in any sport, those who play well throughout the whole contest - not just in fits and starts - more often than not end up victorious.’
    spasmodically, intermittently, sporadically, erratically, irregularly, interruptedly, fitfully, haphazardly, on and off, off and on, now and then, now and again
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