infrequent

infrequent, uncommon, scarce, rare, occasional, sporadic are comparable when they mean appearing, happening, or met with so seldom as to attract attention.
Something is infrequent which does not occur often, especially within a given period of time, or which does not recur except at very wide intervals of time or of space
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tornadoes are infrequent in New England

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far from being infrequent, the crystalline state is almost universal among solids— Darrow

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infrequent pines dot the forest

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though it was only a few hundred miles north of Santa Fe, communication with that region was so infrequent that news traveled to Santa Fe from Europe more quickly than from Pikes Peak— Cather

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Something is uncommon which does not occur or is not found ordinarily and which therefore is singular, exceptional, or extraordinary
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smallpox is now uncommon in most parts of the United States

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in certain country districts in Europe families of fifteen are not uncommon enough to be regarded as extraordinary— Shaw

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such muscular strength is uncommon among girls

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a writer possessing uncommon inventive ability— A. C. Ward

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Mr. Coates's life has not been especially eventful, but he has enjoyed it with uncommon relish— Richard Findlater

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Something is scarce which at the moment in mind is not easily found or which does not exist or is not produced in sufficient quantities
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a bad harvest makes wheat scarce

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highly skilled mechanics are now scarce

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the Boones wanted land where deer and buffalo were numerous and men and cabins scarce—J. M. Brown

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Something is rare (see also CHOICE, THIN) of which but few examples, specimens, or instances are found; also, the term often carries such implications of uncommon as being exceptional or of extraordinary character
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rare postage stamps

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rare books and first editions

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a perfect union of wit and judgment is one of the rarest things in the world— Burke

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great men are scarce . . . but great biographers are positively rareSeccombe

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I may say again, if only rare, how this butterfly would be prized!— Jefferies

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reported to give very indifferent wines to the rare guests he received in his grim old house— Wharton

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Something is occasional which happens or is met with merely now and then. Occasional more than any of the preceding terms implies irregularity or nonconformity to a rule or law that might govern occurrences or appearances
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this was not an occasional outburst of activity; it was Wesley's routine— Crothers

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Artemus Ward was all fun and sweet reasonableness . . ., with an occasional barb that by its unexpectedness did the more damage— Lucasy

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Something is sporadic which has no continuous existence or continuity in its manifestations and which comes into existence or occurs only in rare and, usually, isolated instances
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sporadic cases of an infectious disease

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.sporadic outbursts of opposition to high taxes

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humanism and religion are thus, as historical facts, by no means parallel; humanism has been sporadic, but Christianity continuous— T. S. Eliot

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Analogous words: *exceptional: singular, unique, *strange: *irregular, anomalous, unnatural
Antonyms: frequent
Contrasted words: *usual, customary, accustomed: ordinary, *common, familiar

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Infrequent — In*fre quent, a. [L. infrequens : cf. F. infrequent. See {In } not, and {Frequent}.] Seldom happening or occurring; rare; uncommon; unusual. [1913 Webster] The act whereof is at this day infrequent or out of use among all sorts of men. Sir T.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • infréquent — infréquent, ente (in fré kan, kan t ) adj. Qui n a pas lieu fréquemment. HISTORIQUE    XVIe s. •   Gorreus nie aucun medecin de ses quartiers en pouvoir parler, pour estre le mal si infrequent, PARÉ VI, 23. ÉTYMOLOGIE    Lat. infrequens, de in …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • Infrequent — (v. lat.), 1) selten; 2) unbesucht; daher Infrequenz …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • infrequent — I adjective atypical, discontinuous, erratic, exceptional, extraordinary, few, inconstant, inhabitual, intermittent, irregular, limited, occasional, outstanding, periodic, phenomenal, rare, rarus, scarce, seldom happening, seldom occurring,… …   Law dictionary

  • infrequent — 1530s, from L. infrequentem (nom. infrequens) occurring seldom, unusual, from in not (see IN (Cf. in ) (1)) + frequens (see FREQUENT (Cf. frequent)). Related: Infrequently …   Etymology dictionary

  • infrequent — [adj] not happening regularly exceptional, few, few and far between*, isolated, limited, meager, occasional, odd, rare, scant, scanty, scarce, scattered, seldom, semioccasional, sparse, spasmodic, sporadic, stray, uncommon, unusual; concept 530… …   New thesaurus

  • infrequent — Infrequent, Infrequens …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • infrequent — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ not occurring often; rare. DERIVATIVES infrequency noun infrequently adverb …   English terms dictionary

  • infrequent — [in frē′kwənt] adj. [L infrequens] not frequent; happening seldom or at long intervals; rare; uncommon infrequency n. infrequence infrequently adv …   English World dictionary

  • infrequent — adjective Etymology: Latin infrequent , infrequens, from in + frequent , frequens frequent Date: circa 1615 1. seldom happening or occurring ; rare 2. placed or occurring at wide intervals in space or time < a slope scattered with infrequent… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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