(Des"ul*to*ry) a. [L. desultorius, fr. desultor a leaper, fr. desilire, desultum, to leap down;
de + salire to leap. See Saltation.]
1. Leaping or skipping about. [Obs.]
I shot at it [a bird], but it was so desultory that I missed my aim.Gilbert White.
2. Jumping, or passing, from one thing or subject to another, without order or rational connection; without
logical sequence; disconnected; immethodical; aimless; as, desultory minds. Atterbury.
He [Goldsmith] knew nothing accurately; his reading had been desultory.Macaulay.
3. Out of course; by the way; as a digression; not connected with the subject; as, a desultory remark.
Syn. Rambling; roving; immethodical; discursive; inconstant; unsettled; cursory; slight; hasty; loose.
(De*sume") v. t. [L. desumere; de + sumere to take.] To select; to borrow. [Obs.] Sir. M.
(De`syn*on`y*mi*za"tion) n. The act of desynonymizing.
(De`syn*on"y*mize) v. t. To deprive of synonymous character; to discriminate in use;
applied to words which have been employed as synonyms. Coleridge. Trench.
(De*tach") v. t. [imp. & p. p. Detached ; p. pr. & vb. n. Detaching.] [F. détacher (cf. It. distaccare,
staccare); pref. dé (L. dis) + the root found also in E. attach. See Attach, and cf. Staccato.]
1. To part; to separate or disunite; to disengage; the opposite of attach; as, to detach the coats of a
bulbous root from each other; to detach a man from a leader or from a party.
2. To separate for a special object or use; - - used especially in military language; as, to detach a ship
from a fleet, or a company from a regiment.
Syn. To separate; disunite; disengage; sever; disjoin; withdraw; draw off. See Detail.
(De*tach"), v. i. To push asunder; to come off or separate from anything; to disengage.
[A vapor] detaching, fold by fold,Tennyson.
From those still heights.
(De*tach"a*ble) a. That can be detached.
Detached escapement. See Escapement.
(De*tached") a. Separate; unconnected, or imperfectly connected; as, detached parcels. "Extensive
and detached empire." Burke.
(De*tach"ment) n. [Cf. F. détachement.]
1. The act of detaching or separating, or the state of being detached.
2. That which is detached; especially, a body of troops or part of a fleet sent from the main body on
Troops . . . widely scattered in little detachments.Bancroft.