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Definitiondigressing (departing from the main point)
proceeding to a conclusion by reason rather than intuition; e.g., a discursive essay
- It is a rambling discursive book.
discursive = digressing (departing from the main point)
- 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
- The discursive speaker tended to digress and speak about other subjects entirely for minutes at a time.
- 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
- It was a thoughtful, discursive essay that left me appreciating that rational thought does not come naturally.
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Clearly he could have no patience with a chaotic, detailed, discursive writer like Shakespeare.George Orwell -- Lear, Tolstoy and the Fool
- 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
- A bit discursive this, you know!Luigi Pirandello -- Six Characters in Search of an Author
- They were affectionate, humorous, discursive, but not the letters of a lover.Margaret Mitchell -- Gone with the Wind
- "Will you get in?" begins Mr. Taylor, launching another discursive riff.Ron Suskind -- A Hope in the Unseen
- 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
- 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
- —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
- 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
- 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
- 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?