V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary



Definition: 1. marked by the lack of a definite plan, regularity, or purpose; 2. happening in a random, disorganized, or unmethodical way; 3. aimlessly passing from one thing to another; 4. disappointing in progress or performance

Synonyms: aimless, random, disconnected, erratic, purposeless, unplanned, sporadic

Antonyms: assiduous, methodical, orderly, systematic, constant, invariable

Tips: Desultory is derived from the Latin desultorius, which literally refers to a circus rider who leaps from horse to horse. Think of leaping from plan to plan or idea to idea, without any plan or purpose. For a memory trick, note how desultory sounds like "this dull story." Now, imagine one of your friends is telling a story in a desultory manner, jumping from one part to the next without any method or sequence to the story. After going on for awhile he admits, "This is a dull story," and you respond, "It would not have been a dull story if you weren't so desultory in your delivery."

Usage Examples:

All of his ideas were desultory and couldn’t possibly form one, cohesive campaign. (random, disconnected)

What started out as a formal business discussion, ended with a desultory conversation characteristic of a cocktail party. (purposeless, random)

She had a hard time focusing on the task at hand due to the desultory thoughts running through her mind. (aimless, disconnected)

Without a planned agenda, the family's road trip vacation had them stopping in desultory locations all across the country. (random, unplanned)

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