Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

cursory

play
adjective cur·so·ry \ˈkərs-rē, ˈkər-sə-\

Simple Definition of cursory

  • : done or made quickly

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of cursory

  1. :  rapidly and often superficially performed or produced :  hasty <a cursory glance>

cursorily play \-rə-lē\ adverb
cursoriness play \-rē-nəs\ noun

Examples of cursory in a sentence

  1. Only a cursory inspection of the building's electrical wiring was done.

  2. The mayor gave a cursory glance at the report.

  3. Even the most cursory look at the organization's records shows problems.



Did You Know?

Cursory and its synonyms "superficial" and "shallow" all mean "lacking in depth or solidity" - but these words are not used in exactly the same way in all cases. "Cursory," which comes from the Latin verb currere ("to run"), implies speed and stresses a lack of attention to detail. While "cursory" suggests a lack of thoroughness, "superficial" implies a concern only with surface aspects or obvious features. An analysis of a problem might be labeled "superficial" if it considers only the obvious and fails to dig deeper into the issue. "Shallow" is more generally derogatory in implying lack of depth in knowledge, reasoning, emotions, or character, as in "insensitive and shallow comments."

Origin of cursory

Late Latin cursorius of running, from Latin currere


First Known Use: 1601

Synonym Discussion of cursory

superficial, shallow, cursory mean lacking in depth or solidity. superficial implies a concern only with surface aspects or obvious features <a superficial analysis of the problem>. shallow is more generally derogatory in implying lack of depth in knowledge, reasoning, emotions, or character <a light, shallow, and frivolous review>. cursory suggests a lack of thoroughness or a neglect of details <gave the letter only a cursory reading>.

Rhymes with cursory


CURSORY Defined for Kids

cursory

play
adjective cur·so·ry \ˈkərs-rē, ˈkər-sə-rē\

Definition of cursory for Students

  1. :  done or made quickly <a cursory reply>





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up cursory? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to work hard

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image567572573

Which of these is a synonym of unctuous?

oily angry prompt maudlin
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ