Part of speech: adjective
Origin: Latin, 16th century
Digressing from subject to subject.
(of a style of speech or writing) fluent and expansive rather than formulaic or abbreviated.
Examples of Discursive in a sentence
"The author’s talk wasn’t showy, but he spoke with the same discursive eloquence as he wrote."
"My favorite college professor gave discursive lectures that connected widely different subjects."
“Discursive” is based on the Latin word “discursivus,” whose root is “discurs-,” meaning “going hastily to and fro.”
Did you Know?
The “shaggy-dog story” is essentially a long joke composed of many irrelevant, yet highly detailed, discursive tangents that lead to an anti-climactic punchline. Shaggy-dog stories earned their name from a series of jokes that emphasize the shagginess of a dog in excessive detail before a punchline in which a character —sometimes the judge of a shaggy dog contest — announces the dog is not actually very shaggy. An audience tends to get the giggles from the unrelenting discursive descriptions, which are more important to the jokes than their punchlines. Late comedian Norm MacDonald was known for his extraordinarily discursive four-minute telling of the “Moth Joke.”