I'm looking for a word that describes things which are not consecutive, but are separated by one item.

For example, 1,2,3,4 are consecutive numbers. 2,4,6,8 are ______ numbers.

This is actually for a math question. I see questions asking about "consecutive even numbers" or "consecutive odd numbers", but how would one, in a similar manner, describe the general case of integers with a difference of two.

I'm hoping for a general word, which could also be applied as, for example:

Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday is a series of _______ days.

  • 1
    You would say "all numbers with remainder X modulo Y". Where Y is equal to 1 + the number of integers you want to leave out. This is really a math question, not an English one.
    – RegDwigнt
    Mar 15, 2016 at 15:54
  • 3
    They are alternate numbers / days.
    – Chenmunka
    Mar 15, 2016 at 15:59
  • I've edited my question. I could describe the situation differently, but I was hoping there's a word I'm just not thinking of.
    – nHaskins
    Mar 15, 2016 at 16:00
  • Re: your edit, there is no such word. That is not how language works. We do not have a dedicated adjective for every possible number of integers you can skip. No language has such a thing. Instead you would say "every Xth day starting with Sunday". Now that works in absolutely every language.
    – RegDwigнt
    Mar 15, 2016 at 16:00
  • @RegDwigнt We do have a lot of words which take numerical prefixes (bi, tri, quad, sesqui ). I was hoping for something similar, although you may well be right about it not existing.
    – nHaskins
    Mar 15, 2016 at 16:22

3 Answers 3


In any sequence of one-in one-out, such as your examples of numbers or days, the elements are described as alternate.


What do you think about every other? It's not one word, but I could use it with only slight modification.

Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday is a series consisting of ever other day.


Please pick up every other egg from that row.

  • The nice thing about this approach is it also allows for "every third", "every fourth" and so on.
    – Al Maki
    Mar 15, 2016 at 17:12




verb (used with object), interspersed, interspersing.

  1. to scatter here and there or place at intervals among other things: to intersperse flowers among shrubs.
  2. to diversify with something placed or scattered at intervals: to intersperse a dull speech with interesting anecdotes.
  • 1
    Interesting angle of approach, but sadly doesn't work. ‘Interspersed numbers’ doesn't mean anything and would, with 99% certainty, not be understood. Mar 15, 2016 at 17:24
  • "Interspersed numeric values" is more concise.
    – Xavier J
    Mar 15, 2016 at 18:06
  • 1
    Here is the alphabet with interspersed numeric values: "a b c d 1 45 e f 8 g 72 h 9 i j k 34 l m 7 23 n o p 53 q 21 6 r s t 45 u 10 v 11 w 43 x y 14 z"
    – Jim
    Mar 16, 2016 at 1:45

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