Suddenly her expression changed from desultory enjoyment to active conjecture, and she turned to Selden with a question.
Hitherto he had found, in her presence and her talk, the aesthetic amusement which a reflective man is apt to seek in desultory intercourse with pretty women.
In this desultory yet agitated fashion life went on through Lily’s teens: a zig-zag broken course down which the family craft glided on a rapid current of amusement, tugged at by the underflow of a perpetual need—the need of more money.
She had barely enough money to pay her dress-makers’ bills and her gambling debts; and none of the desultory interests which she dignified with the name of tastes was pronounced enough to enable her to live contentedly in obscurity.
If she had appeared to be catching a train, he might have inferred that he had come on her in the act of transition between one and another of the country-houses which disputed her presence after the close of the Newport season; but her desultory air perplexed him.
It was mid-April, and one felt that the revelry had reached its climax and that the desultory groups in the square and gardens would soon dissolve and re-form in other scenes.
There are no more uses of "desultory" in the book.
Show samples from other sources
He jumped from job to job in a desultory manner until he met Mary.
desultory conversation characteristic of that kind of party