We know that growth is not linear. We won't reach the target in a straight-forward path. We move phase-by-phase.

Now I'm looking for a word to describe it. The growth is not linear, it's... (What)?

  • 1
    Non-linear growth is quite popular phrase. – Maulik V Jan 22 '14 at 9:52
  • @MaulikV Is there a positive word instead? – Omid Jan 22 '14 at 10:05

You might consider sporadic:

happening only occasionally or at intervals that are not regular - OALD

  • Searching "sporadic" in google images showed me that sporadic would be the correct answer. – Omid Jan 22 '14 at 13:05

The growth is not linear.

The adjective linear, as you identified here, means the growth does not happen straightaway. It involves many things and hence, we achieve it gradually, steadily and phase-by-phase.

Non-linear growth is quite popular and generally used in the language. I strongly recommend that but since you are particular about using a positive/single word, one of the options could be -

The growth is not linear, it's piecemeal. - This word is the closest to something happening step-by-step.

The origin as stated here -

Middle English: from the noun piece + -meal from Old English mǣlum, in the sense 'measure, quantity taken at one time'.


You might also consider erratic:

acting, moving, or changing in ways that are not expected or usual : not consistent or regular



I don't think my dialect of American English has such a word, I think "growth happens in stages" might be what you are looking for.

  • I'm looking for a word which can describe this context. – Omid Jan 23 '14 at 12:06

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