desultory


Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal, Wikipedia.

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 ?
continued in a desultory way at long intervals until 1906.
But, as it is not unreasonable to suppose that I may have held its threads with a more continuous attention than anyone else can have given them during its desultory publication, it is not unreasonable to ask that the weaving may be looked at in its completed state, and with the pattern finished.
It was when I would have said that I knew all Goldsmith; we often give ourselves credit for knowledge in this way without having any tangible assets; and my reading has always been very desultory.
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.
In the lulls, Robert and his mother exchanged bits of desultory conversation.
Then they spoke of other things--the desultory talk of those who have been fighting to reach one another, and whose reward is to rest quietly in each other's arms.
In a desultory way he had read a good deal of philosophy, and he looked forward with delight to the leisure of the next few months.
In that interval desultory conversation naturally took place.
Desultory study of the law was interrupted when he came of age by the inheritance of a comfortable fortune, which he managed to lose within a year or two by gambling, speculations, and an unsuccessful effort at carrying on a newspaper.
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.
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.