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Saturday, March 08, 2014


Syllabification: des·ul·to·ry
Pronunciation: /ˈdesəlˌtôrē 


  • 1Lacking a plan, purpose, or enthusiasm:a few people were left, dancing in a desultory fashion
    • Some putter along in a slightly languid and desultory fashion.
    • The rather desultory attempts to bring ‘democracy’ to post-Taliban Afghanistan speak volumes.
    • Every ten to fifteen years, the earth wobbles in a desultory fashion somewhere in these islands and a roof slate or two drops off.
  • 1.1(Of conversation or speech) going constantly from one subject to another in a halfhearted way; unfocused:the desultory conversation faded
    • Two dusky stable hands were leading a pair of thoroughbred around the ‘cooling rings’ of adjoining stables at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans and engaging in desultory conversation.
    • As we near the end of the trail, Thomsen and I have a desultory conversation about how the Sierra are changing: more traffic, more big houses, more kids concerned only with what's on sale at the mall.
    • In the lounge room of the Sydney apartment, the desultory conversation suggests the housemates might as well be on different planets.
  • 1.2Occurring randomly or occasionally:desultory passengers were appearing
    • Unfortunately, the propagation of another leg to the equity bubble, however rapid the money pumping, will still require that earnings show at least the occasional desultory promise of improvement.
    • The arrivals terminal has its own rhythm: the early desultory pulses of the automatic door, then the great disgorge, and finally, as the crowd wilts away, the trickle of presumably more complicated arrivals.
    • While the Joes concentrate their fire and quickly eliminate Cobra's heavy weapons, the Cobra forces offer little more than a token resistance and a few seconds of desultory return fire.

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