desultory


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des·ul·to·ry

 (dĕs′əl-tôr′ē, dĕz′-)
adj.
1. 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).
2. Occurring randomly or sporadically. See Synonyms at chance.

[Latin 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.]

des′ul·to′ri·ly adv.
des′ul·to′ri·ness n.

desultory

(ˈdɛsəltərɪ; -trɪ)
adj
1. passing or jumping from one thing to another, esp in a fitful way; unmethodical; disconnected
2. occurring in a random or incidental way; haphazard: a desultory thought.
[C16: from Latin dēsultōrius, relating to one who vaults or jumps, hence superficial, from dēsilīre to jump down, from de- + salīre to jump]
ˈdesultorily adv
ˈdesultoriness n

des•ul•to•ry

(ˈdɛs əlˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i)

adj.
1. lacking in consistency, method, purpose, or visible order; disconnected: desultory conversation.
2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject: a desultory remark.
[1575–85; < Latin dēsultōrius pertaining to a dēsultor (a circus rider who jumps from one horse to another), derivative of dēsul-, variant s. of dēsilīre to jump down]
des′ul•to`ri•ly, adv.
des′ul•to`ri•ness, n.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.desultory - marked by lack of definite plan or regularity or purpose; jumping from one thing to another; "desultory thoughts"; "the desultory conversation characteristic of cocktail parties"
purposeless - not evidencing any purpose or goal

desultory

adjective random, vague, irregular, loose, rambling, inconsistent, erratic, disconnected, haphazard, cursory, aimless, off and on, fitful, spasmodic, discursive, unsystematic, inconstant, maundering, unmethodical We made some desultory conversation while we waited for the bus.

desultory

adjective
1. Without aim, purpose, or intent:
2. Having no particular pattern, purpose, organization, or structure:
Translations
nesouvislýroztěkaný

desultory

[ˈdesəltərɪ] (frm) ADJ [way of working etc] → poco metódico; [applause] → poco entusiasta; [gunfire] → intermitente, esporádico
they made desultory conversationentablaron sin ganas una conversación

desultory

[ˈdɛsəltəri] adj (= not sustained) [reading, conversation] → décousu(e); [effort] → peu soutenu(e); [contact] → irrégulier/ière
in a desultory fashion (= not energetically) → à tout hasard

desultory

adj readingflüchtig; manner, approach, attempthalbherzig; firingvereinzelt, sporadisch; applauseschwach; to have a desultory conversationeine zwanglose Unterhaltung führen; in (a) desultory fashionhalbherzig

desultory

[ˈdɛsltrɪ] (frm) adj (conversation) → sconnesso/a; (reading) → disordinato/a; (contact) → saltuario/a, irregolare
References in classic literature ?
Whatever it was, it simmered to some purpose, for he grew more and more discontented with his desultory life, began to long for some real and earnest work to go at, soul and body, and finally came to the wise conclusion that everyone who loved music was not a composer.
In the lulls, Robert and his mother exchanged bits of desultory conversation.
The artist, in a desultory manner, had imparted to Phoebe something of his history.
Miss Bates had just done as Patty opened the door; and her visitors walked upstairs without having any regular narration to attend to, pursued only by the sounds of her desultory goodwill.
She entreated that there might be no more searching; but it was still sought for, in a desultory way, until she was quite well, and the company took their departure.
As for the latter, one was sleeping soundly and the other lying awake occupied with his desultory thoughts, when daylight came to them bringing with it the desire to rise; for the lazy down was never a delight to Don Quixote, victor or vanquished.
and the loose and desultory style is an imitation of the 'accustomed manner' in which Socrates spoke in 'the agora and among the tables of the money-changers.
After they had retired for the night it was customary for the adults to carry on a desultory conversation for a short time before lapsing into sleep, and now that I could understand their language I was always a keen listener, although I never proffered any remarks myself.
Beside the regular operations of these formidable rivals, there have been from time to time desultory enterprises, or rather experiments, of minor associations, or of adventurous individuals beside roving bands of independent trappers, who either hunt for themselves, or engage for a single season, in the service of one or other of the main companies.
This changed the subject, which became a desultory discourse on the news of the day.
And over all streamed the delicious June sunshine through the old windows, with their desultory patches of yellow, red, and blue, that threw pleasant touches of colour on the opposite wall.
After a little desultory conversation he asked me if there was anything in which his advice or experience could be of use.