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Word of the Day - for Toastmasters everywhere
Thursday 23rd September 2021
Archive | Previous word | Today's word |

desultory (adjective) DES-ul-ta-ree

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.
Anton Gill, City of Dreams. Amazon

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.
Martin Donohoe, The New York Times, 18 August 1914. New York Times

But the lack of tension in the storytelling, the desultory fights and the lacklustre performances ensure that this production is sunk before it has set sail.
Lyn Gardner, The Guardian, 4 March 2008. Guardian

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?
Euan Ferguson, The Observer, 28 January 2007. The Observer

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