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[kur-suh-ree] /ˈkɜr sə ri/
going rapidly over something, without noticing details; hasty; superficial:
a cursory glance at a newspaper article.
Origin of cursory
1595-1605; < Late Latin cursōrius running, equivalent to Latin cur(rere) to run + -sōrius, for -tōrius -tory1; cf. course
Related forms
cursorily, adverb
cursoriness, noun
quick, brief, passing, haphazard. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for cursorily
  • Some delicate but pressing issues were mentioned only cursorily.
  • Others of the lyrists must be more cursorily despatched.
  • And yet this represents a vast amount of terrain that had been only cursorily explored.
  • The doctor cursorily looked at the blistering rash and treated me for a migraine.
  • All animals were ear-tagged, identified, weighed and cursorily examined for general condition.
  • In almost all cases, the surety only considers project characteristics cursorily.
  • These were turned over to him immediately upon presentation of the warrant and were only cursorily scanned.
  • Accordingly, it dealt only cursorily with the remaining preliminary injunction factors.
  • Groundwater fluxes and storage changes are currently considered only cursorily, if at all, by climate monitoring networks.
British Dictionary definitions for cursorily


hasty and usually superficial; quick: a cursory check
Derived Forms
cursorily, adverb
cursoriness, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Late Latin cursōrius of running, from Latin cursus a course, from currere to run
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for cursorily



c.1600, from Middle French cursoire "rapid," from Late Latin cursorius "hasty, of a race or running," from Latin curs-, past participle stem of currere "to run" (see current (adj.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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