Word of the Day Archive
Wednesday December 19, 2007
discursive \dis-KUR-siv\ , adjective:
1. Passing from one topic to another; ranging over a wide field; digressive; rambling.
2. Utilizing, marked by, or based on analytical reasoning -- contrasted with intuitive.
The style is highly discursive, leap-frogging forwards and backwards across the decades, without ever sacrificing thrust or clarity.
-- Nicholas Blincoe, "Spirit that speaks", The Guardian, August 21, 1999
Rather than being a limiting influence, the time restrictions seem often to have compelled ensembles and soloists to condense and distill arrangements and to edit potentially discursive solo performances.
-- Richard M. Sudhalter, Lost Chords
He is in general a discursive politician: Start him talking and you cannot get him to stop.
-- Dan Balz, "President Endures Embarrassing Week", Washington Post, March 15, 1998
He is an intuitive being who can pierce to the heart of a matter without taking the circuitous route of deeper and more discursive minds.
-- "1962 Man of the Year: Pope John XXIII", Time, January 4, 1963
Discursive comes from Latin discurrere, "to run in different directions, to run about, to run to and fro," from dis-, "apart, in different directions" + currere, "to run."