Adjective "discursive" definition and examples



Definitions and examples


Digressing from subject to subject.
  1. 'Even more commonly the function is a discursive and indecisive meander through various fields of learning for its own sake.'
  2. 'But first, I will string you along with some largely unnecessary details presented in a rambling, discursive manner, so as to build suspense and fulfill my word quota.'
  3. 'She is best when her discursive, rambling method strikes something eccentrically sharp and moving; not often in complete poems, though the sustained Lullaby here is a fine exception.'
  4. 'Because of this, associative ‘correspondences’ between discursive subjects and incongruent temporal episodes, no matter how unclear, are made possible.'
  5. 'There must be some important enabling mechanism for people to be so discursive about things.'
  6. 'The chapter is thus neatly brought full circle and sets the pattern of the book's discursive style, weaving the threads of memory into the present.'
  7. 'It was a very difficult email to write - an unusual admission for someone like me, who could probably craft a lengthy, discursive or emotional email out of a shopping list.'
  8. 'But over the past few weeks, I've felt that what I've written has neither provided interesting links, nor has it offered the discursive posts that I know I'm quite capable of doing.'
  9. 'The more lengthy and discursive notes of the original forces give way to a short, punchy, military style, often devoid of emotion.'
  10. 'The implication of the new roles for the language was that creative writers seriously attempted those literary forms which had been neglected earlier, for example drama, short stories and discursive prose.'
  11. 'He has subsequently been accused of paying too little attention to the plays in performance, in effect of treating them as discursive, almost novelistic, works of literature.'
  12. 'Good style is honest, because it is consistent in the application of its principles - it aspires to integrity of diction, of discursive attitude.'
Relating to discourse or modes of discourse.
  1. 'I slip from the intra-discursive level to the inter-discursive level and begin critiquing the performative discursive mode in which the other person is speaking.'
  2. 'In other words, even though some individuals seemed conflicted, or torn between two incompatible discourses, their discursive practices were not found to be neutral.'
  3. 'This is the classic entanglement of the discursive with the figurative mode of representation - which may beguile and disturb the writer.'
Proceeding by argument or reasoning rather than by intuition.
  1. 'Rather than engaging in discursive reflection on complex theological questions, they prefer to tell stories.'
  2. 'Like Socrates, Russell saw philosophy as spoken and conversational, rather than written and discursive.'


1. passing aimlessly from one subject to another; digressive; rambling.

2. proceeding by reasoning or argument rather than intuition.

More examples(as adjective)

"books can be discursive in approaches."

"practices can be discursive."

"systems can be discursive."

"metaphors can be discursive."

"formations can be discursive."

More examples++


Late 16th century: from medieval Latin discursivus, from Latin discurs-, literally ‘gone hastily to and fro’, from the verb discurrere (see discourse).