[ kur-suh-ree ]
/ ˈkɜr sə ri /


going rapidly over something, without noticing details; hasty; superficial: a cursory glance at a newspaper article.

Origin of cursory

1595–1605; < Late Latin cursōrius running, equivalent to Latin cur(rere) to run + -sōrius, for -tōrius -tory1; cf. course
Related formscur·so·ri·ly, adverbcur·so·ri·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cursory

British Dictionary definitions for cursory


/ (ˈkɜːsərɪ) /


hasty and usually superficial; quicka cursory check
Derived Formscursorily, adverbcursoriness, noun

Word Origin for cursory

C17: from Late Latin cursōrius of running, from Latin cursus a course, from currere to run
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for cursory



c.1600, from Middle French cursoire "rapid," from Late Latin cursorius "hasty, of a race or running," from Latin curs-, past participle stem of currere "to run" (see current (adj.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper