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desultory

[ des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee ]
/ ˈdɛs əlˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i /
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adjective

lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.

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Origin of desultory

1575–85; <Latin dēsultōrius pertaining to a dēsultor (a circus rider who jumps from one horse to another), equivalent to dēsul-, variant stem of dēsilīre to jump down (dē-de- + -silīre, combining form of salīre to leap) + -tōrius-tory1
des·ul·to·ri·ly, adverbdes·ul·to·ri·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for desultory

desultory
/ (ˈdɛsəltərɪ, -trɪ) /

adjective

passing or jumping from one thing to another, esp in a fitful way; unmethodical; disconnected
occurring in a random or incidental way; haphazarda desultory thought
desultorily, adverbdesultoriness, noun
C16: from Latin dēsultōrius, relating to one who vaults or jumps, hence superficial, from dēsilīre to jump down, from de- + salīre to jump
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
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