discursive

adjective dis·cur·sive \ dis-ˈkər-siv \
Updated on: 9 Nov 2017

Definition of discursive

1 a :moving from topic to topic without order :rambling
  • gave a discursive lecture
  • discursive prose
b :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

discursively

adverb

discursiveness

noun

Examples of discursive in a Sentence

  1. the speaker's discursive style made it difficult to understand his point

Recent Examples of discursive from the Web

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


DISCURSIVE Defined for English Language Learners

discursive

adjective

Definition of discursive for English Language Learners

  • : talking or writing about many different things in a way that is not highly organized



Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

to buzz or drone

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!