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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce erratic (audio)

Dictionary definition of erratic

Characterized by irregular, unpredictable, or inconsistent behavior, movements, or patterns.
"The athlete's performance was described as erratic and inconsistent."

Detailed meaning of erratic

When applied to a person, object, or phenomenon, it suggests a lack of stability or a tendency to deviate from an expected or prescribed course. For example, an "erratic driver" may refer to someone who displays unpredictable and unsafe driving habits, while an "erratic weather pattern" denotes weather conditions that fluctuate without a clear pattern. In a broader sense, "erratic" can also describe actions or decisions that are impulsive or capricious, lacking a consistent or rational basis. This term conveys a sense of variability and unpredictability, often requiring vigilance or adaptability to manage or understand the situation at hand.

Example sentences containing erratic

1. The stock market was affected by the erratic behavior of the investors.
2. The driver's erratic behavior on the road caused a traffic accident.
3. The employee's work performance was affected by her erratic attendance.
4. The patient's symptoms were described as erratic and hard to diagnose.
5. The weather was erratic and caused unexpected changes in the forecast.
6. The company's financial performance was described as erratic and unpredictable.

History and etymology of erratic

The adjective 'erratic' has its etymological roots in the Latin word 'erraticus,' which is derived from 'errare,' meaning 'to wander' or 'to go astray.' In its original Latin sense, 'erraticus' described something or someone that was prone to wandering or straying from a fixed path. Over time, this term evolved to encompass a broader meaning, indicating irregular or unpredictable behavior, movements, or patterns. When we describe something as 'erratic' in English, we are drawing upon its historical association with wandering and straying, emphasizing the idea that it deviates from a regular or consistent course, often in an unpredictable and irregular manner.

Quiz: Find the meaning of erratic

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Further usage examples of erratic

1. The politician's statements were described as erratic and controversial.
2. The machine's performance was affected by the erratic supply of electricity.
3. The student's grades were described as erratic and inconsistent.
4. The artist's work was described as erratic and hard to understand.
5. The company's customer service was described as erratic and unreliable.
6. Her erratic driving, marked by sudden lane changes and speeding, posed a danger on the road.
7. Investors found it challenging to predict the stock market's erratic fluctuations.
8. His erratic sleep schedule, with irregular hours and frequent awakenings, affected his overall well-being.
9. The erratic weather patterns, swinging between extreme heat and sudden storms, puzzled meteorologists.
10. The athlete's performance this season was characterized by erratic ups and downs, making it hard to gauge their potential.
11. The car's erratic engine behavior, with sporadic stalling and sputtering, indicated a need for immediate repairs.
12. His erratic behavior, ranging from extreme enthusiasm to sudden mood swings, raised concerns among his peers.
13. The company's erratic financial performance, with fluctuating profits and losses, prompted a review of its strategy.
14. The cat's erratic movements, darting playfully one moment and then suddenly pouncing, entertained everyone.
15. The CEO's erratic decisions, sometimes bold and innovative, sometimes cautious and conservative, left employees uncertain about the company's direction.
16. Erratic rainfall patterns, including long periods of drought followed by heavy downpours, wreaked havoc on local agriculture.
17. The erratic flight of the butterfly, darting from flower to flower in unpredictable patterns, fascinated nature enthusiasts.
18. The computer's erratic performance, with frequent crashes and slow processing, frustrated users who relied on it for work.
19. Her erratic moods, swinging from elation to deep sadness without warning, made it challenging to maintain stable relationships.
20. The music's erratic tempo changes, speeding up and slowing down unexpectedly, added excitement to the performance.
21. The GPS gave us erratic directions, leading us on a convoluted path through unfamiliar streets.
22. The river's erratic flow, affected by seasonal changes and varying water levels, created challenges for navigation.
23. The politician's erratic statements, often contradictory and prone to abrupt shifts, stirred controversy among voters.
24. The artist's deliberately erratic brushstrokes, creating a sense of chaos within the painting, challenged traditional notions of order.
25. Erratic power outages, occurring at random times and lasting varying durations, disrupted daily life in the region.



unpredictable, consistent, stable, regular


ACT 2 (American College Testing), Irregular and Unpredictable, Puzzlement and Perplexity

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