Desultory meaning

dĕsəl-tôrē, dĕz-
The definition of desultory is something, someone or a conversation with no plan or purpose that wanders from one thing to the next.

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.

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Moving or jumping from one thing to another; disconnected.
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Disappointing in performance or progress.
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Passing from one thing to another in an aimless way; disconnected; not methodical.

A desultory conversation.

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Occurring randomly or sporadically.
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Lacking direct relevance; random; incidental.

A desultory observation.

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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.

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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.

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Origin of desultory

  • Latin dēsultōrius leaping from dēsultor a leaper from dēsultus past participle of dēsilīre to leap down dē- de- salīre to jump sel- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Latin desultorius (“hasty, casual, superficial”), from desultor (“a circus rider who jumped from one galloping horse to another”), from dēsiliō (“jump down”), from (“down”) + saliō (“jump, leap”)

    From Wiktionary