cursory was our Word of the Day on 08/02/2008. Hear the podcast!
Examples of cursory in a sentence
Only a cursory inspection of the building's electrical wiring was done.
The mayor gave a cursory glance at the report.
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 and Etymology of cursory
Late Latin cursorius of running, from Latin currere —see 1cursive
First Known Use: 1601
Synonym Discussion of cursory
CURSORY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of cursory for English Language Learners
: done or made quickly
CURSORY Defined for Kids
Definition of cursory for Students
: done or made quickly a cursory reply
Seen and Heard
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