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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce discursive (audio)

Dictionary definition of discursive

Characterized by a tendency to wander or digress from the main topic or central theme.
"The discursive essay touched on many different themes but lacked a coherent structure."

Detailed meaning of discursive

Discursive refers to a style of writing or speaking that is characterized by a wide-ranging, rambling or digressive approach, often covering multiple related or unrelated topics. It is characterized by a tendency to wander or digress from the main topic, providing background information or a broader context. Discursive writing or speech often explores different perspectives and ideas, and can provide a more nuanced understanding of a subject. It can also describe a style of reasoning or argumentation that is informal and discursive rather than being formal and logical. Discursive writing or speech can be useful in providing a more in-depth exploration of a topic, but it can also make it harder for the audience to follow the main idea.

Example sentences containing discursive

1. Her discursive storytelling led to captivating, meandering narratives.
2. His discursive writing style often required readers' patience.
3. The speaker's discursive lecture left the audience confused.
4. A discursive conversation can be hard to follow.
5. Her discursive thoughts made it challenging to reach a conclusion.
6. The book's discursive chapters explored various tangents.

History and etymology of discursive

The adjective 'discursive' finds its origins in the Latin word 'discursivus,' which is derived from 'discursus,' meaning 'a running to and fro' or 'a digression.' This Latin term is linked to 'discurrere,' which combines 'dis,' meaning 'apart,' and 'currere,' meaning 'to run.' Thus, 'discursive' essentially conveys the idea of running apart from the main point or subject, mirroring its tendency to digress or meander in discussions or writings. When something is described as 'discursive,' it implies a style of communication or thought that frequently strays from the central topic, exploring various related or unrelated ideas along the way, much like a winding journey or running to and fro in discourse.

Quiz: Find the meaning of discursive

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Further usage examples of discursive

1. He found her discursive anecdotes entertaining but time-consuming.
2. Discursive thinking sometimes hinders decision-making.
3. The professor's discursive lectures frustrated some students.
4. The essay's discursive approach lacked focus.
5. In conversation, he tended to be overly discursive.
6. The meeting veered into a discursive debate.
7. Discursive writing may lose readers' interest.
8. His discursive storytelling enthralled the audience.
9. Discursive speeches can be engaging when well-structured.
10. She struggled to rein in her discursive tendencies.
11. Discursive thinking can lead to creative breakthroughs.
12. The discussion became increasingly discursive.
13. The novel's discursive style mirrored the protagonist's mind.
14. Discursive exploration uncovered unexpected insights.
15. His discursive anecdotes kept the group entertained.
16. She found solace in her discursive journaling.
17. Discursive writing can convey a stream of consciousness.
18. The conversation remained discursive, lacking a clear direction.
19. In the end, his discursive approach enriched the discourse.



rambling, focused, concise, direct


Adventurous and Wandering, Annoyance and Irritation, Attention and Focus, Discipline and Self-Control, Discourse and Conveyance, Convoluted and Cryptic, Conversation and Expression

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