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discursive
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discursive


It is a rambling discursive book.
  digressing (departing from the main point)

or:

proceeding to a conclusion by reason rather than intuition; e.g., a discursive essay
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discursive discursively
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Samples:
  • It is a rambling discursive book.
  • He recommends working more at discursive writing rather than writing for entertainment or human interest.
  • I had not got far into it, when I judged from her looks that she was thinking in a discursive way of me, rather than of what I said.
    Dickens, Charles  --  Great Expectations
  • Even so, subtly introduced as it was, steeped in the pleasantly spiced broth of the Professor’s discursive, entertainingly acrid animadversions, the word and its full force and meaning—and thus its full meaning as it informed the entire substance of the essaywas so horrible that she had to shove it into the back of her mind throughout the entire bone-chilling winter weekend during which she labored over her father’s impassioned screed.
    William Styron  --  Sophie’s Choice

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  • A bit discursive this, you know!
    Luigi Pirandello  --  Six Characters in Search of an Author
  • The assembly shredded away and became a discursive and random scatter from the palms to the water and away along the beach, beyond night-sight.
    William Golding  --  Lord of the Flies
  • I had not got far into it, when I judged from her looks that she was thinking in a discursive way of me, rather than of what I said.
    Charles Dickens  --  Great Expectations
  • They were affectionate, humorous, discursive, but not the letters of a lover.
    Margaret Mitchell  --  Gone with the Wind
  • During this discursive address Silas had continued motionless in his previous attitude, leaning his elbows on his knees, and pressing his hands against his head.
    George Eliot  --  Silas Marner
  • Still she did not speak and, prompted by an obscure desire to help himself and her through their miserable last hour, he went on discursively: "Ain’t it funny we haven’t been down together but just that once last winter?"
    Edith Wharton  --  Ethan Frome

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  • "Will you get in?" begins Mr. Taylor, launching another discursive riff.
    Ron Suskind  --  A Hope in the Unseen
  • Although I do not mean to assert that it is usually the practice of renowned and learned sages, to shorten the road to any great conclusion (their course indeed being rather to lengthen the distance, by various circumlocutions and discursive staggerings, like unto those in which drunken men under the pressure of a too mighty flow of ideas, are prone to indulge); still, I do mean to say, and do say distinctly, that it is the invariable practice of many mighty philosophers, in carrying…
    Charles Dickens  --  Oliver Twist
  • Letter by letter, he had no mercy as he poisoned himself with the smoke from the palm oil lamps in the back room of the notions shop, and his letters became more discursive and more lunatic the more he tried to imitate his favorite poets from the Popular Library, which even at that time was approaching eighty volumes.
    Gabriel Garcia Marquez  --  Love in the Time of Cholera
  • But when he insisted, "You’ve been a librarian; tell me; do I read too much fiction?" she advised him loftily, rather discursively.
    Sinclair Lewis  --  Main Street
  • —she, hardly more than a budding woman, but yet with an active conscience and a great mental need, not to be satisfied by a girlish instruction comparable to the nibblings and judgments of a discursive mouse.
    George Eliot  --  Middlemarch
  • With which preface, Mrs Nickleby took her nightcap from between the leaves of a very large prayer-book where it had been folded up small, and proceeded to tie it on: talking away in her usual discursive manner, all the time.
    Charles Dickens  --  Nicholas Nickleby
  • Mr. Bantling, who was of rather a slow and a discursive habit, relished a prompt, keen, positive woman, who charmed him by the influence of a shining, challenging eye and a kind of bandbox freshness, and who kindled a perception of raciness in a mind to which the usual fare of life seemed unsalted.
    Henry James  --  The Portrait of a Lady - Volumes 1 & 2
  • Clearly he could have no patience with a chaotic, detailed, discursive writer like Shakespeare.
    George Orwell  --  Lear, Tolstoy and the Fool
  • As Major Duncan manifested some impatience of manner, Muir had too much tact to delay the sports any longer with his discursive remarks, but judiciously prepared himself for the next appeal.
    James Fenimore Cooper  --  The Pathfinder
  • Another factor is twenty-four-hour news on cable TV and radio, where much of the reporting is done ad lib, making acceptable the values of spoken language, discursive and colloquial, an intellectual exercise different from that demanded in written reportage.
    Robert MacNeil and William Crane  --  Do You Speak American?
  • Mr. Bantling, who was of rather a slow and a discursive habit, relished a prompt, keen, positive woman, who charmed him by the influence of a shining, challenging eye and a kind of bandbox freshness, and who kindled a perception of raciness in a mind to which the usual fare of life seemed unsalted.
    Henry James  --  The Portrait of a Lady - Volume 1
  • And such light and discursive thoughts as visit the brain only when it is weary and resting began straying through Yevgeny Petrovitch’s head; there is no telling whence and why they come, they do not remain long in the mind, but seem to glide over its surface without sinking deeply into it.
    Anton Chekhov  --  Home
  • All the same, it is undeniable that these notebooks, which form a sort of discursive diary, supply the chronicler of the period with a host of seemingly trivial details which yet have their importance, and whose very oddity should be enough to prevent the reader from passing hasty judgment on this singular man.
    Albert Camus  --  The Plague
  • But being unpracticed in such discursive reasoning and anything but intellectually alert after his unsalutary walk, he was easily diverted, and was in fact diverted almost immediately by the round back in front of him and by the arm extending from it, which lifted and reached back, so that the hand—now right before Hans Castorp’s eyes—could tuck at the braid of hair.
    Thomas Mann  --  The Magic Mountain
  • Oderisi’s ’Piu ridon ….’was how Dante drew attention to the humility of the miniaturists, who tried in the simplest, densest strokes to convey the essence of what they saw, and were not interested in discursive interpolations, conceits, or dazzling excursions that proved them to their fellowsalthough they had to do some of this simply to arouse their patrons.
    Mark Helprin  --  A Soldier of the Great War
  • The moment was too propitious for the display of that discursiveness which seemed the only bond of union among tempers so divergent.
    James Joyce  --  Ulysses
  • …the root Springs lighter the green stalk, from thence the leaves More aery, last the bright consummate flower Spirits odorous breathes: flowers and their fruit, Man’s nourishment, by gradual scale sublimed, To vital spirits aspire, to animal, To intellectual; give both life and sense, Fancy and understanding; whence the soul Reason receives, and reason is her being, Discursive, or intuitive; discourse Is oftest yours, the latter most is ours, Differing but in degree, of kind the same.
    John Milton  --  Paradise Lost
  • He spread his captain’s hand, cautioning and restraining them, and from his painfully ragged lips came words whose discursive ambiguity had compelling power over their minds thanks to the personality behind them.
    Thomas Mann  --  The Magic Mountain
  • A long and discursive dialogue now followed, in which Mabel endeavored to obtain clearer notions of her actual situation, under a faint hope that she might possibly be enabled to turn some of the facts she thus learned to advantage.
    James Fenimore Cooper  --  The Pathfinder
  • The discursive speaker tended to digress and speak about other subjects entirely for minutes at a time.
  • It was a thoughtful, discursive essay that left me appreciating that rational thought does not come naturally.
  • As a rule, her conversation, though pleasing, was discursive and lacked central motive, but one morning she had genuine news to impart.
    Wodehouse, Pelham Grenville  --  The Man Upstairs and Other Stories
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Associated words [difficulty]:   discursive [8]
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Most commonly used in these subjects:   Philosophy, Logic & Reasoning, Public Policy & Politics
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