Definition of discursive
1a : moving from topic to topic without order : rambling gave a discursive lecture discursive proseb : proceeding coherently from topic to topic
2 philosophy : marked by a method of resolving complex expressions into simpler or more basic ones : marked by analytical reasoning
3 : of or relating to discourse discursive practices
Examples of discursive in a Sentence
the speaker's discursive style made it difficult to understand his point
Recent Examples of discursive from the Web
The Wired Blogs Committee on Selecting the Best and Worst of CES 2007 has yet to complete even its preliminary discursive activities, but this will be my vote for both best and worst booth.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'discursive'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
The Latin verb discurrere meant "to run about", and from this word we get our word discursive, which often means rambling about over a wide range of topics. A discursive writing style generally isn't encouraged by writing teachers. But some of the great 19th-century writers, such as Charles Lamb and Thomas de Quincey, show that the discursive essay, especially when gracefully written and somewhat personal in tone, can be a pleasure to read. And the man often called the inventor of the essay, the great Michel de Montaigne, might touch on dozens of different topics in the course of a long discursive essay.
Origin and Etymology of discursive
Medieval Latin discursivus, from Latin discursus, past participle of discurrere to run about — more at discourse
First Known Use: 1595
DISCURSIVE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of discursive for English Language Learners
: talking or writing about many different things in a way that is not highly organized
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