from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Performed with haste and scant attention to detail.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Running about; not stationary.
  • In entomology, adapted for running, as the feet of many terrestrial beetles; cursorial.
  • Hasty; slight; superficial; careless; not exercising or receiving close attention: as, a cursory reader; a cursory view.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective obsolete Running about; not stationary.
  • adjective Characterized by haste; hastily or superficially performed; slight; superficial; careless.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective hasty; superficial; careless
  • adjective obsolete Running about; not stationary.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective hasty and without attention to detail; not thorough


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Late Latin cursōrius, of running, from Latin cursor, runner; see cursor.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin cursorius


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  • Giving a detailed answer to all of them, even in cursory fashion, would make a small volume.

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  • Indeed, most of the instances of the term a cursory Google search of whitehouse. gov uncovers come in questions from the media

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  • The vast majority of them are illiterate and slap on a uniform after receiving what can only charitably be described as cursory instruction in military tactics and the handling of an assault rifle.

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  • Sen. Patrick Leahy said the decision constituted a 'default of U.S. leadership' and charged that it appeared to be based on a review that 'can only be described as cursory and half-hearted'.

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  • The students were asked to sign what was described as a cursory three-page consent form.

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  • Sun Mar 22, 2009 at 09: 59: 47 AM EDT wrote this morning what could generously be described as a cursory look at the Indiana Toll Road, hesitating just long enough from a wide-eyed respect of Gov.

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  • The Vermont senator said the Obama Administration's review of the earlier decision to stand apart from the treaty "can only be described as cursory and half-hearted."

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  • Ellis agrees that "that sequence does seem kind of cursory" – but only, he goes on, because Clay is so numbly affectless that even rape and torture would look banal to him.

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  • Mr. Cook played better than he has ever done for England, dominating as he rarely has before, passing 150 and 200 with the kind of cursory celebrations that indicated he was intent on scoring, as he put it, a daddy hundred.

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  • Argh.

    “But this original name is dying out because sod over here is a cursory so is not used much.”

    Sometimes the Internet makes me sad.

    January 18, 2012