from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The character of being desultory; disconnectedness; discursiveness: as, the desultoriness of a speaker's remarks.

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

  • noun The quality of being desultory or without order or method; unconnectedness.

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

  • noun The state or quality of being desultory.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • It's a brilliant piece of opportunism, retrospectively sutured together from (I'd say) three existing Russia-related magazine pieces, with the Samarkand material (which is spread out through the course of the book) serving as a spine, and the genuine commitment to the comedy of desultoriness serving as a warrant for incorporating desultory stuff she happened to have by her.

    The Possessed: Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them by Elif Batuman – review

  • Whenever the chat over the tea sank into pleasant desultoriness

    The Woodlanders

  • He went back to the ‘Red Lion’ with the manner and movement of a man who after a lifetime of desultoriness had at last found something to do.

    The Hand of Ethelberta

  • It was snowing with a fine-flaked desultoriness just sufficient to make the woodland gray, without ever achieving whiteness.

    The Woodlanders

  • But it brings vividly before us the failures and weaknesses in our work; for instance, the desultoriness of our teaching, which of necessity stultifies the results that under better conditions would be sure to follow.

    Mary Slessor of Calabar: Pioneer Missionary

  • It is usually a little tremulous, not quite sure of itself, and indeed its best adornment is generally the sobriety induced by an overshadowing sense of paternal correction and solicitude always present to check rashness and desultoriness, and make it at least "gang warily" with a finger on its lip; and their attainments in Latin are, at the best, receptively rather than actively of value.

    The Education of Catholic Girls

  • The same Celtic desultoriness characterized all the rest of his life, though it could not thwart his genius.

    A History of English Literature

  • To present that history in the form of annals would be to introduce unavoidably definite elements of incoherence and desultoriness.

    History of the University of Virginia, 1819-1919

  • Meanwhile, opportunities must be seized at the risk of a reputation for desultoriness.

    Thomas Henry Huxley

  • Sloth is in the air, and a decorous desultoriness pervades humanity.

    The Green Carnation


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