• Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Desultoriness The quality of being desultory or without order or method; unconnectedness. "The seeming desultoriness of my method."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n desultoriness The character of being desultory; disconnectedness; discursiveness: as, the desultoriness of a speaker's remarks.
    • ***


In literature:

Young Irving's school education was desultory, pursued under several more or less incompetent masters, and was over at the age of sixteen.
"Washington Irving" by Charles Dudley Warner
A desultory conversation followed for about an hour, when the steam-whistle sounded, and the up-train arrived.
"Continental Monthly, Vol. II. July, 1862. No. 1." by Various
My mind is so desultory!
"The Power of Faith" by Isabella Graham
Meanwhile the theorist may have little, if any, desultory memory.
"Talks To Teachers On Psychology; And To Students On Some Of Life's Ideals" by William James
The efforts of France in favor of the son of Robert were late, desultory, and therefore unsuccessful.
"The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. VII. (of 12)" by Edmund Burke
After the massacre in 1622 the war with the Indians had continued in a desultory way for over twelve years.
"England in America, 1580-1652" by Lyon Gardiner Tyler
At first the conversation was commonplace, and I related various experiences in a desultory fashion.
"Combed Out" by Fritz August Voigt
There was only desultory gunfire as targets offered.
"The New York Times Current History of the European War, Vol 1, Issue 4, January 23, 1915" by Various
Cecil kept up a desultory conversation with Mrs. Anderson; but a vague impatience and restlessness came over her.
"Bluebell" by Mrs. George Croft Huddleston
The retrograde march was terribly harassed by the light cavalry of the Persians, a species of troops peculiarly fitted for desultory warfare.
"Pinnock's Improved Edition of Dr. Goldsmith's History of Rome" by Oliver Goldsmith

In poetry:

A desultory waif of time
Flying adventure from my mast,
'Twas thus I voyaged every clime
To come back to myself at last!
"Hesperides" by Harry Kemp
Whose owl-eyes in the scraggly wood
Scared mothers to miscarry,
Drove the dogs to cringe and whine
And turned the farmboy's temper wolfish,
The housewife's, desultory.
"The Death Of Myth-Making" by Sylvia Plath

In news:

THE Metropolitan Opera's new season, off to a desultory beginning with "Otello" and "Manon," gave signs of flickering into life on Wednesday evening with the return of " Ariadne auf Naxos" to the repertory.
Sir, if I may say, poetry flows through you like the desultory breeze doth caress the aeolian harp strings in yon window.
Harmony Korine, aging enfant terrible and self-proclaimed "most American" of American indies, finds his level and brings it home to Nashville with the gloriously desultory slap in the face of public taste, Trash Humpers.
4-ranked raging bull, on the sidelines since his desultory Wimbledon loss, is surely on the road to full recovery now.
Dallek said that in contrast to recent presidencies that had "a desultory quality" and "demoralized" the country, President Kennedy's was still remembered by many for its optimism and Kennedy's inspirational speeches.
So far, our nation's budget debate has been a desultory affair focused on whether a small slice of the federal government's outlays should be cut by $33 billion or $61 billion, or whatever.

In science:

No, I’m talking about the mundane mathematics that falls into the cracks between these well-developed areas: basic facts about sets, functions, and relations. I refer to the material that gets relegated to the desultory miscellanies added to texts under the name of “set-theoretic preliminaries”.
Set-Theoretic Preliminaries for Computer Scientists
Drawing inputs at random may sound like a desultory approach to testing, since it ignores any information about the structure of the system under test.
Stateful Testing: Finding More Errors in Code and Contracts