Des"ul*to*ry (?), a. [L. desultorius, fr. desultor a leaper, fr. desilire, desultum, to leap down; de + salire to leap. See Saltation.]

1.

Leaping or skipping about.

[Obs.]

I shot at it [a bird], but it was so desultory that I missed my aim. Gilbert White.

2.

Jumping, or passing, from one thing or subject to another, without order or rational connection; without logical sequence; disconnected; immethodical; aimless; as, desultory minds.

Atterbury.

He [Goldsmith] knew nothing accurately; his reading had been desultory. Macaulay.

3.

Out of course; by the way; as a digression; not connected with the subject; as, a desultory remark.

Syn. -- Rambling; roving; immethodical; discursive; inconstant; unsettled; cursory; slight; hasty; loose.

 

© Webster 1913.

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