Random, rambling, haphazard; ainlessly jumping from onr thing to another.
After he had eaten he lit a small oil lamp to dispel the gathering gloom, and by its light fought off the silence by indulging in some desultory tidying, which consisted of gathering together assorted scrolls of papyrus and articles of clothing scattered about, and dumping them into two chests - one for each.
This enormous volume contains very little text - only Feaver’s essay, which is more a desultory potter among the life and works than a sustained critical survey, and transcriptions of three conversations between Freud and Feaver recorded in 1992, 1998 and 2007.
Jane Rye, The Spectator, 30 January 2008, The Spectator reviewing William Feaver's biography, Lucian Freud. Amazon
I have been with the allied army in eastern Flanders throughout today and there has been a good deal of fighting of a desultory character all along the allies' line.
Were those other three faithfully unrecorded weeks so void because he was maybe slumped, senseless, unseeing, devoid of thought or ability to function other than lifting the occasional desultory glass to his lips and staring at the wall with a savage listlessness?