All Words > Desultory

Monday, May 23

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."

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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.

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