• WordNet 3.6
    • adj discursive (of e.g. speech and writing) tending to depart from the main point or cover a wide range of subjects "amusingly digressive with satirical thrusts at women's fashions among other things","a rambling discursive book","his excursive remarks","a rambling speech about this and that"
    • adj discursive proceeding to a conclusion by reason or argument rather than intuition
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Discursive Passing from one thing to another; ranging over a wide field; roving; digressive; desultory. "Discursive notices.""The power he [Shakespeare] delights to show is not intense, but discursive .""A man rather tacit than discursive ."
    • Discursive Reasoning; proceeding from one ground to another, as in reasoning; argumentative. "Reason is her being, Discursive or intuitive."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • discursive Relating to the understanding, or the active facility of knowing or of forming conclusions; ratiocinative: opposed to intuitive.
    • discursive Passing rapidly from one subject to another; desultory; rambling; digressional.
    • discursive Passing over an object, as in running the eye over the parts of a large object of vision.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Discursive dis-kur′siv running from one thing to another: roving, desultory: proceeding regularly from premises to conclusion: intellectual, rational
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Cf. F. discursif,. See Discourse, and cf. Discoursive
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
See Discourse.


In literature:

She was not discursive about her marriage.
"The Emigrant Trail" by Geraldine Bonner
But all of Lowell's essays are discursive and familiar.
"Modern American Prose Selections" by Various
The constable had been discursive, voluminous, in his entertaining.
"Overland Red" by Henry Herbert Knibbs
This evening, as usual, the conversation was discursive.
"My New Curate" by P.A. Sheehan
In point of style and general method of treating subjects, De Quincey's greatest faults are pedantry and discursiveness.
"Continental Monthly , Vol. 5, No. 6, June, 1864" by Various
Mr. WILLIAM DE MORGAN (in a charming, if rather discursive, letter of 32,000 words) demands legislation.
"Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 146, May 20, 1914" by Various
Nothing, so far, had served his cause and his influence so well as these moments of free discursive intercourse.
"Robert Elsmere" by Mrs. Humphry Ward
Be so good, most discursive valet, as to fetch me my deer-skin gloves, my hat, and gun.
"The International Monthly, Volume 2, No. 4, March, 1851" by Various
Again, discursive thinking is regarded as an interruption of religion.
"The Approach to Philosophy" by Ralph Barton Perry
Sterne's sentiment and discursiveness found several feeble imitators.
"The Political History of England - Vol. X." by William Hunt

In news:

Privacy is a topic that tends to inspire discursive essays rather than philosophical treatises.
This is Diane Johnson's first novel for eight years, and it has a sort of discursive and amiable quality which is somewhat new in her work.
'I Wish' a discursive child's wonderland.
Powerhouse performances make this another rewarding production for fans of August Wilson, but the writer's discursive tendencies might frustrate others.
Those of us who attempt to talk about racial bias encounter a few common discursive strategies that are meant to discredit our perspectives.
That's assuming you can roll with Weekend 's rambling, discursive structure and hyper-naturalistic, occasionally indecipherable dialogue.

In science:

The exposition is mainly discursive, with conceptual, interpretational and philosophical matters emphasized throughout, while their formal technical-mathematical underpinnings have been left to the original papers.
`Iconoclastic', Categorical Quantum Gravity
The Hayashi monograph (H) is less discursive and more formal than BZ, and directed more for graduate students than undergraduates.
Book Review: "Geometry of Quantum States" by Ingemar Bengtsson and Karol Zyczkowski (Cambridge University Press, 2006)
The meditation gives access to an a priori domain for which no discursive concepts are available to the Ego.
Luhmann's Communication-Theoretical Specification of the 'Genomena' of Husserl's Phenomenology
Indeed, once out of their contexts, discursive forms are considerably decreasing summary’s coherence.
Improving Update Summarization by Revisiting the MMR Criterion
Discursive form rewriting: ambiguous discursive forms are deleted.
Improving Update Summarization by Revisiting the MMR Criterion