The Americans and their allies are carrying out a desultory air campaign in Syria that appears focused on support for the Kurds.
Yammara has been sleeping in desultory fashion with a student, Aura, who then turns up pregnant and moves in with him.
Libya sank into civil war with NATO's desultory participation taking it toward stalemate, maybe even break-up.
disappointing in quality or performance
Latin de- + salire 'to leap'
1580s, "skipping about," from Latin desultorius "hasty, casual, superficial," adjective form of desultor (n.) "a rider in the circus who jumps from one horse to another while they are in gallop," from desul-, stem of desilire "jump down," from de- "down" (see de-) + salire "to jump, leap" (see salient (adj.)). Sense of "irregular, without aim or method" is c.1740. Related: Desultorily; desultoriness.