Desultory

Adjective

Not getting anywhere because you’re moving in arbitrary, haphazard directions.

“The idea had been Denver, but Neil was a desultory driver and we spent days in St. Louis before stopping in Memphis to call on Lisa.”

“Our desultory conversations hatched fantastic plans that had nothing to do with Denver and everything to do with not staying in one place for very long.”

(Note: Merriam-Webster lists “disappointing in progress, performance, or quality” as a third definition, but that’s shit usage for a great word. Consider this example:

“The first two games, desultory losses at Denver and Chicago, certainly validated the camp that feels the Seahawks’ era of dominance has ended.” (The Seattle Times)

Here, desultory means disappointing and gives the noun no new qualities. If you’re going to use a great word like desultory, use it in a way that connotes a new quality.)


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