All Words > Desultory

illustration Desultory

Desultory

[DEH-səl-tor-ee]

Part of speech: adjective

Origin: Latin, late 16th century

1.

Lacking a plan, purpose, or enthusiasm; (of conversation or speech) going constantly from one subject to another in a halfhearted way; unfocused.

2.

Occurring randomly or occasionally.

Examples of Desultory in a sentence

"The conversation at the party became more desultory as the night wore on."

"Evelyn had a desultory habit of popping in on her friends unexpectedly."

Popularity Over Time

Popularity over time graph
illustration Desultory

About Desultory

This word stems from the Latin “desultorius,” meaning “superficial” (literally “relating to a vaulter”). That comes from “desultor,” meaning “vaulter,” from the verb “desilire.”

Did you Know?

“Desultory” stems from the Latin adjective “desultorius.” In ancient times, this term was used to refer to a “desultor,” a circus performer whose primary trick was to leap from one horse to another and another without stopping.

Recent Words

What's the word?