a. aimless; haphazard; at random; not connected with subject
In prison Malcolm X set himself the task of reading straight through the dictionary; to him, reading was purposeful, not desultory.
Sentence in Classic:
Our client appeared to have taken fresh heart at the little glimpse of hope which had been presented to him, and he even broke into a desultory chat with me over his business affairs.
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes By Arthur Conan Doyle Context
She entreated that there might be no more searching; but it was still sought for, in a desultory way, until she was quite well, and the company took their departure.
David Copperfield By Charles Dickens Context
Suddenly her expression changed from desultory enjoyment to active conjecture, and she turned to Selden with a question.
House of Mirth By Edith Wharton Context
The talk was much more desultory than when only the cronies were there, and everybody was a bit bored, for the weather was bad, and there was only billiards, and the pianola to dance to.
Lady Chatterley's Lover By D H Lawrence Context
Whatever it was, it simmered to some purpose, for he grew more and more discontented with his desultory life, began to long for some real and earnest work to go at, soul and body, and finally came to the wise conclusion that everyone who loved music was not a composer.
Little Women By Louisa May Alcott Context
She did not speak many words; and as for him, something had been just done and some words had been just said on the hill which prevented him from beginning a desultory chat.
Return of the Native By Thomas Hardy Context