adjective Etymology: Latin desultorius, literally, of a circus rider who leaps from horse to horse, from desilire to leap down, from de- + salire to leap — more at sally Date: 1581 1. marked by lack of definite plan, regularity, or purpose <
a dragged-out ordeal of…desultory shopping — Herman Wouk
2. not connected with the main subject 3. disappointing in progress, performance, or quality <
a desultory fifth place finish
a desultory wine
desultorily adverbdesultoriness noun

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Desultory — Des ul*to*ry, a. [L. desultorius, fr. desultor a leaper, fr. desilire, desultum, to leap down; de + salire to leap. See {Saltation}.] 1. Leaping or skipping about. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] I shot at it [a bird], but it was so desultory that I missed …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • desultory — [des′əl tôr΄ē; ] also [ dez′əl tôr΄ē] adj. [L desultorius < desultor, vaulter < desultus, pp. of desilire, to leap down < de , down, from + salire, to leap: see SALIENT] 1. passing from one thing to another in an aimless way;… …   English World dictionary

  • desultory — ► ADJECTIVE 1) lacking purpose or enthusiasm. 2) going from one thing to another erratically and intermittently: a desultory conversation. DERIVATIVES desultorily adverb. ORIGIN Latin desultorius superficial (literally relating to a vaulter ),… …   English terms dictionary

  • Desultory — was part of the first wave of Swedish death metal bands, alongside Entombed, Dismember, and others. Into Eternity, their Metal Blade debut following a lesser known EP release, is standard for the genre, energetic and forceful, straddling the line …   Wikipedia

  • Desultory — (1997 bis 2009: Zebulon) Allgemeine Informationen Genre(s) Death Metal Gründung 1989 Aktuelle Besetzung …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • desultory — I adjective broken, deviating, diffuse, digressive, disarranged, disconnected, discontinuous, discursive, disjoined, disjunct, dispersed, erratic, inconsistent, inconstans, inconstant, interrupted, lacking continuity, nonrecurrent, nonuniform,… …   Law dictionary

  • desultory — 1580s, skipping about, from L. desultorius, adj. form of desultor hasty, casual, superficial, lit. a noun meaning a rider in the circus who jumps from one horse to another while they are in gallop, from desul , stem of desilire jump down, from de …   Etymology dictionary

  • desultory — casual, hit or miss, haphazard, *random, happy go lucky, chance, chancy Analogous words: *fitful, spasmodic: unsystematic, unmethodical, disorderly (see affirmative adjectives at ORDERLY): capricious, mercurial, *inconstant, fickle Antonyms:… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • desultory — [adj] random aimless, chance, chaotic, deviating, erratic, haphazard, orderless, rambling, unmethodical, unstable, unsystematic, without purpose; concepts 535,548,557 …   New thesaurus

  • desultory — desultorily, adv. desultoriness, n. /des euhl tawr ee, tohr ee/, adj. 1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation. 2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a… …   Universalium

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