Meaning: occurring in spells and often abruptly; "fitful bursts of energy"; "spasmodic rifle fire"
But the fitful evening breeze came up through Redman's Dell, with a gentle sweep over the autumnal foliage.
That night I slept poorly, and between my fitful dreams, I thought I heard a distant moaning, like a funeral dirge.
It was a wintry one. The darkness gathered, the snow was falling, the wind wailed plaintively about the house or shook it with fitful gusts.
And yet there was something fitful in the eyes which contradicted the occasional flash of energy: after looking round with quick fierceness at windows and faces, they fell again with a lost and wandering look.
Tom did not sleep well the remainder of the night, for his fitful slumbers were disturbed by dreams of enormous caves, filled with diamonds, with dark, shadowy figures trying to put him into a red-hot steel box.
His cheeks were blanched as the flume-head foam when the brown spring freshets flow; Deep in their dark, sin-calcined pits were his sombre eyes aglow; They knew him far for the fitful man who spat forth blood on the snow.
Dick remained upborne by a confidence in the future rather than in the present, and throughout the morning he remained with his comrades, under arms, but doing little, save to hear the fitful firing which ran along a front of several miles.
Every one else was motionless and silent too, while the sunlight, which for the last quarter of an hour had here and there been piercing the greyness, made fitful streaks across the convent wall, causing some awe-stricken spectators to start timidly.
It looked like the moon when it rises from behind clouds, and glows red and lurid from the horizon; and so this glowed, but not with the steady light of the moon, for the light was fitful, and sometimes flashed into a baleful brightness, which soon subsided into a dimmer lustre.
The day was warm--unusually so for the season--there was hardly a breath of air stirring; and the multitude were in no bad humor at being now and then besprinkled with friendly showers of momentary duration, that fell from large white masses of cloud which chequered in a fitful manner the blue vault of the firmament.