- An example of desultory is wandering around and not knowing where you are going.
- An example of desultory is a conversation that doesn't flow well.
- passing from one thing to another in an aimless way; disconnected; not methodical: a desultory conversation
- lacking direct relevance; random; incidental: a desultory observation
Origin of desultoryClassical Latin desultorius from desultor, vaulter from desultus, past participle of desilire, to leap down from de-, down, from + salire, to leap: see salient
- Moving or jumping from one thing to another; disconnected: “She had suddenly begun speaking, after sitting silently through several hours of desultory discussion … about the Resistance” ( Adam Nossiter )
- Occurring randomly or sporadically. See Synonyms at chance.
Origin of desultoryLatin dēsultōrius leaping from dēsultor a leaper from dēsultus past participle of dēsilīre to leap down dē- de- salīre to jump ; see sel- in Indo-European roots.
(comparative more desultory, superlative most desultory)
- Jumping, or passing, from one thing or subject to another, without order or rational connection; without logical sequence.
- He wandered round, cleaning up in a desultory way.
- I teach a class of desultory minds.
- Out of course; by the way; as a digression; not connected with the subject.
- I made a desultory remark while I was talking to my friend.
- She made a desultory attempt at conversation.
- Disappointing in performance or progress.
From Latin desultorius (“hasty, casual, superficial”), from desultor (“a circus rider who jumped from one galloping horse to another”), from dēsiliō (“jump down”), from dē (“down”) + saliō (“jump, leap”)