Dictionary.com

desultory

[ des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee ]
/ ˈdɛs əlˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i /
Save This Word!

adjective

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

QUIZZES

QUIZ YOURSELF ON "WAS" VS. "WERE"!

Were you ready for a quiz on this topic? Well, here it is! See how well you can differentiate between the uses of "was" vs. "were" in this quiz.
Question 1 of 7
“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

Meet Grammar Coach

Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing

Meet Grammar Coach

Improve Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help

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

OTHER WORDS FROM desultory

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

Example sentences from the Web for desultory

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

Derived forms of desultory

desultorily, adverbdesultoriness, noun

Word Origin for desultory

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
FEEDBACK