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Cursory   /kˈərsəri/   Listen
Cursory

adjective
1.
Hasty and without attention to detail; not thorough.  Synonyms: casual, passing, perfunctory.  "A passing glance" , "Perfunctory courtesy"






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Cursory" Quotes from Famous Books



... do very nicely," Miss Merivale said, after giving the typewritten programmes a cursory glance and pushing them from her. Her eyes went back to Rhoda's face. She saw now that the fleeting glimpse she had got of her on the staircase had somewhat deceived her. Rhoda was not as pretty as she had thought. Her mouth was a little too wide, and her nose had too blunt a tip for beauty. ...
— Miss Merivale's Mistake • Mrs. Henry Clarke

... of the States still permit county commissioners to commit the care of the poor to the lowest bidder. On the other hand the poorhouse has been transformed into a "Home for the Aged and Infirm" in some States, and inspections of public institutions by the grand jury are becoming more than merely cursory. State boards of charities are being established, and men have even attacked members of their own political parties on the charge of incompetence, cruelty, or neglect of duty as keepers of prisons or ...
— The New South - A Chronicle Of Social And Industrial Evolution • Holland Thompson

... GOLDEN DAYS has fallen into our hands. This is a paper for boys and girls, and, from the cursory examination we have been enabled to give it, we think ...
— Golden Days for Boys and Girls - Volume VIII, No 25: May 21, 1887 • Various

... residence; still, overflow with all the pompousness of national and individual vanity combined. "When I was on board the Audacious"—for a long time, was almost the invariable exordium to the fore-top Captain's most cursory remarks. It is often the custom of men-of-war's-men, when they deem anything to be going on wrong aboard ship to refer to last cruise when of course everything was done ship-shape and Bristol fashion. And by referring to the Audacious—an expressive name by the way—the fore-top Captain ...
— White Jacket - or, the World on a Man-of-War • Herman Melville

... whose knowledge of things theatrical is merely cursory, scant or non-existent, the two signs given above may have exactly the same meaning, bear the same message in both cases. But to all those "in the know" as to stage matters the two signs tell two entirely different stories, and the location of the names of the play and the actor convey important ...
— The Art of Stage Dancing - The Story of a Beautiful and Profitable Profession • Ned Wayburn

... great gopura, and opposite this is the new gallery, of a magnificent plan but unfinished, known as Tirumala's Choultrie. There is so much of interest and detail connected with all of these Dravidian temples that one should plan to have more time to devote to them. The cursory examination we were afforded measures the disadvantage of an itinerary. We left after luncheon for Tuticorin, and arrived ...
— Travels in the Far East • Ellen Mary Hayes Peck

... in the whole apparatus, means, machinery, and dependences of that system—a revolution begun, carried through, and perfected within the period of my own personal experience—merits a word or two of illustration in the most cursory memoirs that profess any attention at all to the shifting scenery and moving forces of the age, whether manifested in great effects or in little. And these particular effects, though little, when regarded in their separate details, ...
— Autobiographic Sketches • Thomas de Quincey

... the question, you must solve it; I can leave you only some cursory ideas, which I am satisfied are just, and upon which you may meditate at your leisure. Only for fools or the weak does materialism become a debasing dogma; assuredly, in its code there are none of those precepts ...
— Monsieur de Camors, Complete • Octave Feuillet

... property. we may be certain, that either pride or humility must arise from this conjunction of relations; if the foregoing system be solid and satisfactory. And whether it be so or not, we may soon satisfy ourselves by the most cursory ...
— A Treatise of Human Nature • David Hume

... passed the spot Where eight days later you were to lie, And be spoken of as one who was not; Beholding it with a cursory eye As alien from you, though under its tree You soon would ...
— Satires of Circumstance, Lyrics and Reveries, with - Miscellaneous Pieces • Thomas Hardy

... repetition of the measures undertaken in Korea after the Russo-Japanese war of 1905 as a forerunner to annexation; and although obviously in the case of China no such rapid surgery could be practised, the endorsement of these measures would have meant a virtual Japanese Protectorate. Even a cursory study of the text that follows will confirm in every ...
— The Fight For The Republic In China • B.L. Putnam Weale

... after-dinner enthusiasm than of the precise thinking that is done in morning light. For, after all, even Mr. Bertrand Russell, even Mrs. Philip Snowden, might be wrong in their hurried jottings down of the results of a cursory survey of so intricate a system. And, anyhow, Bolshevism had the advantage that it had not yet been tried in this country, and no one, not even the most imaginative and clear-sighted political theorist, could forecast ...
— Dangerous Ages • Rose Macaulay

... modesty of his attitude. Dubkoff himself was in a silk dressing-gown and soft slippers, while Woloda—seated opposite him on a divan—was in his shirtsleeves, as well as (to judge by his flushed face and the impatient, cursory glance which he gave us for a second as he looked up from the cards) much taken up with the game. On seeing me, he reddened ...
— Youth • Leo Tolstoy

... some remarks upon the general character of the tales, which, as may be seen after a very cursory examination, are very different both in tone and merit, as might indeed be expected if we remember that we are probably dealing with the works of men who were separated from each other by a gap of hundreds of years. ...
— Heroic Romances of Ireland Volumes 1 and 2 Combined • A. H. Leahy

... A cursory reading of the narrative will convince any one that its purpose is not to enlarge men's views of nature, but to teach them something concerning nature's God. It says nothing about the forces of nature, the laws of nature, the classifications of natural ...
— The Galaxy, Volume 23, No. 2, February, 1877 • Various

... detectives tell Norvallis they had found nothing. Anyway, if I don't miss my guess, they were so satisfied with something they're keeping up their sleeve that I don't believe they paid more than cursory attention to other details. Just gave everything a perfunctory once-over and ...
— The Monk of Hambleton • Armstrong Livingston

... from each meeting are to be read over from my elaboration at the next. Nobody is permitted to hold a pen or to make a note whilst they are being read. Afterwards I have your father's promise that not even he will ask for even a cursory glance at them. I deliver them sealed ...
— The Betrayal • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... little, frowned a little, and took a cursory and sullen glance at me. He was unpleasantly affected, not so much by the "important matter" as by my words about death, about ...
— The Lady with the Dog and Other Stories • Anton Chekhov

... affair of more considerable magnitude; and that they did make the concealment thereof an article of charge against the Resident, Middleton, though the said Resident did in truth acquaint them with the same, but in a cursory manner. ...
— The Works Of The Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. IX. (of 12) • Edmund Burke

... small and pale but piercing eyes behind the gold-rimmed spectacles, or the thin lipped mouth, depressed at the corners into a curve indicative of iron will, and set between bushy whiskers of the same dark gray as the hair. The most cursory observer could not but recognize power and character in the head; yet one would scarcely have guessed it to be the power of a poet, the character of a prophet. Misled, perhaps, by the ribbon at the buttonhole, ...
— Henrik Ibsen • Edmund Gosse

... such as allusions to "the early and latter rain" (v. 7), the effect on vegetation of the burning wind (i. 11), the existence of salt or bitter springs (iii. 11), the cultivation {226} of figs and olives (iii. 12), and the neighbourhood of the sea (i. 6; iii. 4). From such a cursory view of the character of this Epistle, it would seem reasonable to admit that it was written by a Palestinian Jewish Christian for the edification of Christians of the same ...
— The Books of the New Testament • Leighton Pullan

... coldness, thought that the subjects on which he proposed to write were very difficult, and were ready to inform him, that the event of a poem was uncertain, that an author ought to employ much time in the consideration of his plan, and not presume to sit down to write in confidence of a few cursory ideas, and a superficial knowledge; difficulties were started on all sides, and he was no longer qualified for any performance but the ...
— The Works of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. in Nine Volumes - Volume the Eighth: The Lives of the Poets, Volume II • Samuel Johnson

... their every word and gesture, in every line of their clean-cut, strong-featured faces. On this particular morning they were not looking their best, and the reason, as well as the explanation of their late rising might possibly be found in the disorder which a cursory glance around the room revealed. Dress coats, white ties, patent leather pumps and other paraphernalia of evening wear were scattered here and there, just as each article had been thrown down when they had returned home the ...
— Bought and Paid For - From the Play of George Broadhurst • Arthur Hornblow

... Church of England and fraught with absurdity, but propounded under the alluring guise of Christian charity; a charity which has won for him the applause of the professors of modern liberalism, because, on a cursory glance, it appears to embrace all sects and denominations of Christians. It is proper, therefore, to set the matter in a true light, by showing that this liberality of sentiment is more specious than real; that Mr. Noel is throwing out false colours, and that ...
— On Calvinism • William Hull

... inches upon his chest and back. From these aprons hung long tassels or switches of hair tapering from the outer edges toward the center which reached below the bottom of his torso. It required but the most cursory examination to indicate to the ape-man that these ornaments consisted of human scalps, taken, doubtless, from the heads of the sacrifices upon the eastern altars. The headdress itself had been carved to depict in formal design a hideous face that suggested both man and gryf. There were the three ...
— Tarzan the Terrible • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... especially as his name had been associated with the toast of Australian Exploration. The sentiment was a wide one, and they need not suppose that he was going to enter into the history of all Australian explorations that had taken place. He was sure that time would not admit of his making even cursory remarks upon these events. Mr. Forrest then alluded to the exploratory labours of Stuart—perhaps the greatest of Australian explorers—of McKinlay, of Burke and Wills, of Captain Roe, and the Gregorys, and of the veteran Warburton. The hospitality ...
— Explorations in Australia • John Forrest

... her at the appointed time. She held the letters open in her hand, having already given them a cursory examination lest there should be some little confidence intended for none but ...
— Grandmother Elsie • Martha Finley

... appeared, in delicate cases, to think I would take a comprehensive view. When I have inquired into the grounds of this discrimination in our favor, he has contented himself with saying, in the British-cursory manner, "Oh, I don't know; you are different!" I remember he remarked once that our impressions were fresher. And I am sure that now it was because of my nationality, in addition to other merits, that he treated me to the confession I have just alluded to. At least I don't suppose he would have gone ...
— The Path Of Duty • Henry James

... longer, and I asked him, in a firm voice and very marked manner, whether I might command his immediate attention to important business. He professed to be at my service. I opened the affair by taking a cursory, yet definite, review of the principles in which my political conduct had originated, and on which it was founded. I flattered myself that I had produced an impression. Sometimes we are in a better cue for these expositions ...
— Vivian Grey • The Earl of Beaconsfield

... recollections. Church registers and all such documents were ignored. She begins with the misstatement that Burton was born at Elstree, she makes scarcely any reference to his most intimate friends and even spells their names wrongly. [14] Her remarks on the Kasidah are stultified by the most cursory glance at that poem; while the whole of her account of the translating of The Arabian Nights is at variance with Burton's own letters and conversations. I am assured by several who knew Burton intimately that the untrustworthiness of the latter part of Lady Burton's "Life" of her husband ...
— The Life of Sir Richard Burton • Thomas Wright

... St. George's cursory inspection had revealed the others variously absorbed, though they were now all agreed in breathing easily since Barnay, interlarding rational speech with Irishisms of thanksgiving, had announced five minutes before that the fires ...
— Romance Island • Zona Gale

... and Mr. Whedell had settled themselves on a tete-a-tete, and, after some cursory observations on the weather, commenced talking of finance—a theme of which neither of those gentlemen ...
— Round the Block • John Bell Bouton

... repent. And as to War, that it is, as all human Affairs are, entirely under his Direction, and that the side whom he is pleased to favour, beats the other. This is the general Opinion, as well of those who hold a Free-agency, as of those who are for Predestination. A cursory View of these two Things, the Notions Men have of Providence and the Grand Point to be obtain'd in Armies, will give us a clear Idea of a Clergyman's Task among Military Men, and shew us both the Design of Fast-Days, and the Effect ...
— An Enquiry into the Origin of Honour, and the Usefulness of Christianity in War • Bernard Mandeville

... a cursory glance at the heavens on a clear night can readily perceive that there exists considerable diversity of colour among the stars. The contrast between some is pronounced and well marked, whilst others exhibit refined gradations ...
— The Astronomy of Milton's 'Paradise Lost' • Thomas Orchard

... is that emphasis upon the importance of mastery of Greek and Hebrew for an insight into scriptural meanings rests largely upon a theory of literal inspiration of the biblical narratives. It requires only a cursory reading to see that the narratives in English cannot claim to be strictly inerrant, so that the upholder of inerrancy is driven to the position that the inerrancy is in the documents as originally written. No doctrine of inerrancy, ...
— Understanding the Scriptures • Francis McConnell

... Brownrigg's custom to board, but only to go alongside to see that the papers were correct. He therefore ordered the boat's crew to be careful not to board without direct orders, intending a mere cursory examination, and no detention whatever, as he did not arm the boat's crew, and directed the time alongside ...
— Our Sailors - Gallant Deeds of the British Navy during Victoria's Reign • W.H.G. Kingston

... A cursory inspection will show that this volume lays no claim to be ranked with those of Boswell in point of dramatic interest. Coleridge differed not more from Johnson in every characteristic of intellect, than in the habits and ...
— Specimens of the Table Talk of S.T.Coleridge • Coleridge

... largest proportion of recorded existing species are known only by the study of their skins, or bones, or other lifeless exuvia; that we are acquainted with none, or next to none, of their physiological peculiarities, beyond those which can be deduced from their structure, or are open to cursory observation; and that we cannot hope to learn more of any of those extinct forms of life which now constitute no inconsiderable proportion of the known Flora and Fauna of the world: it is obvious that the definitions of these species can be only of a purely ...
— Lay Sermons, Addresses and Reviews • Thomas Henry Huxley

... the inner surface of the intestines, it was at once hastily concluded that the spores of the mushroom had germinated, and that the nodules were infant mushrooms. This appeared to one of us so strange, that application was made for specimens, which were kindly forwarded, and a cursory glance was enough to convince us that they were not fungoid. An examination under the microscope further confirmed the diagnosis, and the application of nitric acid showed that the nodules were merely due to chalk mixture, which had been given to the child for the diarrhetic symptoms ...
— Fungi: Their Nature and Uses • Mordecai Cubitt Cooke

... belligerent than picket duty. Duties of a more stirring character, were, however, awaiting them, and as these are intimately associated with the career of the subject of this biography, the delineation of whose life is the purpose of the writer, we will give them something more than a cursory notice. ...
— Sword and Pen - Ventures and Adventures of Willard Glazier • John Algernon Owens

... the higher latitudes of the Polar Regions, except when variety happens to be afforded by intercourse with some other branch of "the whole family of man." Winter after winter, nature here assumes an aspect so much alike, that cursory observation can scarcely detect a single feature of variety. The winter of more temperate climates, and even in some of no slight severity, is occasionally diversified by a thaw, which at once gives variety and comparative ...
— Three Voyages for the Discovery of a Northwest Passage from the • Sir William Edward Parry

... glance was all I caught of thee, In my own Enfield haunts at random roving. Old friends of ours were with thee, faces loving; Time short: and salutations cursory, Though deep, and hearty. The familiar Name Of you, yet unfamiliar, raised in me Thoughts—what the daughter of that Man should be, Who call'd our Wordsworth friend. My thoughts did frame A growing Maiden, who, from day to day Advancing still in stature, and ...
— The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb IV - Poems and Plays • Charles and Mary Lamb

... under which, in this cursory account of Crown Law, I shall range other offences that are punished capitally, are those against our fellow subjects, and they are either committed against their lives, their goods or their habitations. With respect to those against ...
— Lives Of The Most Remarkable Criminals Who have been Condemned and Executed for Murder, the Highway, Housebreaking, Street Robberies, Coining or other offences • Arthur L. Hayward

... A cursory inspection quickly convinced Jack that the station was not of recent installation, but had been put in about the year 1918. Much of the equipment, while of the best at the time it was put in, had been antiquated since by ...
— The Radio Boys on the Mexican Border • Gerald Breckenridge

... will be asked, what kind of a treasure is this that we propose to bequeath to posterity? What is the real value of this system of metaphysics, purified by criticism, and thereby reduced to a permanent condition? A cursory view of the present work will lead to the supposition that its use is merely negative, that it only serves to warn us against venturing, with speculative reason, beyond the limits of experience. This is, in fact, its primary use. But this, at once, assumes ...
— The Critique of Pure Reason • Immanuel Kant

... In the first cursory glance through the work, we were struck by an apparent disproportion of space allotted to different topics, and have taken some pains to examine to how great an extent this disproportion really exists. We find that in the first volume, four works,—the First, Second, and ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume V, Number 29, March, 1860 - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics • Various

... Desmond made a cursory tour of the walls and passed on into the second room. Paul, increasingly anxious every moment, lagged behind and consulted his watch. It was twenty-five minutes past eleven. Would ...
— Captain Desmond, V.C. • Maud Diver

... up and look out of the bull's-eye. She should never forgive herself for resisting that impulse, for she was positive now that she would have seen his ghastly face in the water. Some indignation was felt that the captain, after a cursory survey of his stateroom, had ordered it to be locked until his fate was more positively known, and the usual seals placed on his effects for their delivery to the authorities at San Francisco. It was believed that some clue to his secret would be found among his personal chattels, if only ...
— The Crusade of the Excelsior • Bret Harte

... privilege before it was ended; but with the first and second the difficulties had disappeared; and, had she not felt somewhat ashamed of the occupation, she could have sat at her desk and written him letters all day. Brooke would answer them, with fair regularity, but in a most cursory manner,—sending seven or eight lines in return for two sheets fully crossed; but this did not discompose her in the least. He was worked hard at his office, and had hundreds of other things to do. He, too, could say,—so thought Dorothy,—more in eight ...
— He Knew He Was Right • Anthony Trollope

... to test his prize would not allow of more than a very cursory inspection of the general contents of the volume. So far as he could make out, it seemed to be a political satire veiled under the transparent garb of an Eastern story. Parthenio was represented as a holy man—a Spiritualist or Mystic—who had lived for ...
— The Argosy - Vol. 51, No. 3, March, 1891 • Various

... After cursory remarks about the business of the Office and his friend's contributions to periodical literature, in which he was interested for as long as he had assurance that the safe income depending upon official duties was not endangered by them, Victor kicked his heels to ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... (Lake).[36] Here Captain Burton again commenced making inquiries about the route to Kilimandjaro, and how, if that could not be managed, considering the means at our disposal, we could march into Usumbara, see the capital Fuga, and pay the king, Kimueri, a cursory visit; but being more or less dissuaded from this, evidently, as it afterwards appeared, by the timorous inclinations rather than from any real difficulties which presented themselves to the mind of our Sheikh, ...
— What Led To The Discovery of the Source Of The Nile • John Hanning Speke

... cursory view of the ruins in the mead, we ascended the hill which borders upon it, and surveyed a prospect of the same nature, though in a more lovely and expanded style, than that which I beheld from Mosolente. Padua crowns the landscape, with its towers and cupolas rising from ...
— Dreams, Waking Thoughts, and Incidents • William Beckford

... night, in my little distant chamber with its iron-barred windows, when my father suddenly and unexpectedly walked into the room. He looked over what I had done, and remarked the quantity of paper used over it, which indeed was not small. Upon this cursory inspection he held my work for a foolish waste of time and paper; and it would have been all over with my labour of love for that time, if my brother (Christoph), who had so often stood as protector by my side, had not just then been on a visit with us. He had become the minister of a place ...
— Autobiography of Friedrich Froebel • Friedrich Froebel

... aspiration. To give the fullest practical effect to the patriotic fervor that animates any modern nation, and so turn it to use in the most effective way, it is necessary to show that the demands of equity are involved in the case. Any cursory survey of modern historical events bearing on this point, among the civilised peoples, will bring out the fact that no concerted and sustained movement of the national spirit can be had without enlisting the community's moral ...
— An Inquiry Into The Nature Of Peace And The Terms Of Its Perpetuation • Thorstein Veblen

... perhaps, in this state alone. The state spends its money for the above institution, and, therefore, has a right to know what it is; a knowledge which can never be obtained from the reports of the authorities, the cursory observations of visitors, or the statements of ignorant ...
— Diary in America, Series One • Frederick Marryat (AKA Captain Marryat)

... cold, while everyone was too intent on his own business to do more than bestow a cursory glance on passers-by, so that our little caravan, freed from importuning ...
— Life and sport in China - Second Edition • Oliver G. Ready

... building, historically and architecturally regarded. And it is worthy of notice that at Wimborne, more than at many places, the enlargers of the church have contented themselves with adding to the building without removing the work of their predecessors more than was absolutely necessary. A very cursory glance at the exterior of the building as one walks round it is sufficient to show that the church as it stands offers to the student of architecture examples of every style that has prevailed in this country from the twelfth century onward, and he will especially ...
— Bell's Cathedrals: Wimborne Minster and Christchurch Priory • Thomas Perkins

... else his age where food was concerned. "Sure; come on in and rest a spell," I told him. "Marty, can you fix a plate of something? We've got a guest." Marty—my wife—glanced through the kitchen doorway. After a cursory look at the boy, she smiled at him and ...
— Stopover • William Gerken

... regarding the religious views of most prominent Americans are shamefully meagre, I was inclined to regard Rector Reed's sermon as a historical document of inestimable value. Being prone, however, to act upon the advice of St. Paul and "prove all things," I began a cursory investigation. Rector Reed neglected to give the source of his information, and to save me I could find but seven presidents, including Washington, who were Episcopalians, and now Col. Patrick Ford, of the Irish World calls my attention ...
— Volume 10 of Brann The Iconoclast • William Cowper Brann

... at the rock, which to a cursory glance seemed as if composed of whiter stone on the top. "Gulls, I declare!" shouted Charley, at the same time ...
— The Young Fur Traders • R.M. Ballantyne

... lay chiefly in her left leg and in her face—the lower part of her face. The surgeons, taking their cursory view of her, as they did of the rest of the sufferers, were not sparing in their remarks, for they believed her to be insensible. She had gathered that the leg was to be amputated, and that she would probably die under the operation—but her turn to be attended to was not yet. How she contrived ...
— East Lynne • Mrs. Henry Wood

... A cursory glance at these problems will reveal their import. Mountains must be reduced to dust; all this dust must be handled in detail, so to speak, and from it must be separated the fine particles of iron constituting only one-fourth or one-fifth of its mass; and then this iron-ore ...
— Edison, His Life and Inventions • Frank Lewis Dyer and Thomas Commerford Martin

... postponed to a more convenient season. At length Mr. Latrobe himself undertook to pay a visit to Gippsland. He was a splendid horseman, had long limbs like King Edward Longshanks, and was in the habit of making dashing excursions with a couple of troopers to take cursory views of the country. He set out in the month of May, 1844, and was introduced to the settlers in the following letter by "a ...
— The Book of the Bush • George Dunderdale

... concrete and material details of 1Kings vi., vii. are reproduced only in an imperfect and cursory manner, the act of consecration on the other hand, and the discourse delivered by Solomon on the occasion, is accurately and fully given (v. 2-vii. 10) in accordance with 1Kings viii.; such additions and omissions as occur are all ...
— Prolegomena to the History of Israel • Julius Wellhausen

... early return to his landlady and his colleagues. 1.13.34. was in place and contained no extraneous writing. As he drew near to Class 11 in the same gallery, its association struck him like a chill. But he must go on. After a cursory glance at 11.33.4 (which first confronted him, and was a perfectly new book) he ran his eye along the line of quartos which fills 11.3. The gap he feared was there: 34 was out. A moment was spent in making sure that it had not been misplaced, and ...
— Ghost Stories of an Antiquary - Part 2: More Ghost Stories • Montague Rhodes James

... at the bottom of this article—as the wary connoisseur in prints, with cursory eye (which, while it reads, seems as though it read not,) never fails to consult the quis sculpsit in the corner, before he pronounces some rare piece to be a Vivares, or a Woollet—methinks I hear you exclaim, Reader, Who ...
— The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb, Volume 2 • Charles Lamb

... than the oystermen do to discover it—the mouth is exactly what the gullet (oesophagus) would be in a man whose head had been cut off; that is, a truncated tube. Then comes the stomach, situated in the very midst of the liver; which latter may easily be distinguished, even by the most cursory glance at luncheon, from its dark color. The intestine also goes right through the liver, doubling backwards and forwards several times: and thus the digestive tube supplies itself with bile from the cask (to ...
— The History of a Mouthful of Bread - And its effect on the organization of men and animals • Jean Mace

... in one extensive continent this is peculiarly an era of implacental mammals, and that in another extensive continent it is peculiarly an era of placental mammals; we have good reason to hesitate before accepting these sweeping generalizations which are based on a cursory examination of strata occupying but a tenth part of ...
— Essays: Scientific, Political, & Speculative, Vol. I • Herbert Spencer

... Mathematical Society" was really the great promoter of the study of the ancient geometry in Lancashire; for during the latter half of the last century, and almost up to the present date, it has numbered amongst its members several of the most distinguished geometers of modern times. A cursory glance at some of the mathematical periodicals of that date will readily furnish the names of Ainsworth, whose elegant productions in pure geometry adorn the pages of the Gentleman's and Burrow's Diaries; Taylor, the distinguished tutor of Wolfenden; Fletcher, ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 34, June 22, 1850 • Various

... enthusiasm was once more alight in my father when I got back to our camp that morning; and one might have supposed it nourished him, if one had judged from the cursory manner in which his share of our simple breakfast was dispatched. Then, carrying with him a tomahawk, I remember, he led us down across the sand to where the ship lay, so deeply bedded that one stepped over her rail as it might have been ...
— The Record of Nicholas Freydon - An Autobiography • A. J. (Alec John) Dawson

... curious peculiarities connected with the bats is their singular parasite, the Nycteribia.[1] On cursory observation, this creature appears to have neither head, antennae, eyes, nor mouth; and the earlier observers of its structure assured themselves that the place of the latter was supplied by a cylindrical sucker, which, being placed between ...
— Ceylon; an Account of the Island Physical, Historical, and • James Emerson Tennent

... world of "Rosa, wife of Frederic Chilton." But, while the mould was being heaped upon the coffin, he raised his eyes, and let them rove aimlessly over the crowd, neither avoiding nor courting observation—the cursory regard of a man who had no strong interest in any person or group there. They changed singularly in resting upon the family from Ridgeley. A stare of stupefaction gave place to living fires of angry suspicion and amazement—lurid flame that testified ...
— At Last • Marion Harland

... remainder of the day a weary weight upon my hands. The aversion to reading had become such that some months elapsed before I took up a book with any pleasure. Even the daily papers were more than I could well fix my attention upon, except in the briefest and most cursory way. Within a week, however, the sense of acute pain rapidly diminished, but the irritability, impatience, and incapacity to do any thing long remained unrelieved. The disordered liver became apparently ...
— The Opium Habit • Horace B. Day

... person of the drama. The pointing I consider a matter to be dealt with as any one pleases—for the sake of sense, of more sense, of better sense, as much as if the text were a Greek manuscript without any division of words. This position I need not argue with anyone who has given but a cursory glance to the original page, or knows anything of printers' pointing. I hold hard by the word, for that is, or may be, grain: the pointing as we have it is merest chaff, and more likely to be wrong than right. Here also, however, I change nothing ...
— The Tragedie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark - A Study with the Text of the Folio of 1623 • George MacDonald

... beyond the confines of the ruin. No kivas were discovered, but if such exist they ought to be found in the mass of houses at the southern end. I thought we had found circular rooms in that region, but cursory excavations did not demonstrate their existence. As there is no reason to suspect the existence of circular kivas in ancient Tusayan, it would be difficult to decide whether or not any one of the large rectangular rooms was used for ceremonial purposes, for it is ...
— Archeological Expedition to Arizona in 1895 • Jesse Walter Fewkes

... as guardians of peace and justice, must be pure of murder; and not listen to or look at anything pertaining to divinity in a cursory or neglectful manner, but must exist enjoying leisure from other affairs and fixing their attention on the practice of piety as the most important act.—Zonaras, 7, ...
— Dio's Rome, Vol VI. • Cassius Dio

... but a cursory glance on the men who occupied the opposite ward. We had seen enough of madness, and the shrieks from the outrageous patients above, whom strangers have seldom nerve enough to visit, quickened our steps as ...
— Life in the Clearings versus the Bush • Susanna Moodie

... I've been running madly up and down for you!" cried Lady Flora, suddenly descending on them, and carrying off her charge with a cursory nod to the Guardsman, marking the difference between a detrimental and even the third ...
— Magnum Bonum • Charlotte M. Yonge

... for the beams were not floored in the middle of the building. The aspect of this place was not at all hopeful; for there were none of those convenient "cubby holes," which most houses contain, wherein he could bestow his body with any hope of escaping even a cursory ...
— The Young Lieutenant - or, The Adventures of an Army Officer • Oliver Optic

... gave me considerable food for speculation, since if I were right in the conclusion induced by the cursory glimpse I had had of the spy, then Matai Shang and Thurid must suspect my identity, and if that were true not even the service I had rendered Kulan Tith could save me ...
— Warlord of Mars • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... English." And in his history of the English language, speaking of our Saxon ancestors, to whom we must, I suppose, go for that Teutonic original which he so strongly recommends, he observes that, "their speech having been always cursory and extemporaneous, must have been artless and unconnected, without any modes of transition or involution of clauses, which abruptness and inconnection may be found even in their later writings." Of the additions ...
— Lives of the English Poets - From Johnson to Kirke White, Designed as a Continuation of - Johnson's Lives • Henry Francis Cary

... had designated. It was one of a row. His pace slowed to a nonchalant stroll again. It was still quite light, and he was by no means the only pedestrian on the street; a moment's preliminary, even if cursory, examination of the exterior would not be amiss! Counting the numbers ahead of him, he had already located the house. He frowned a little. A light burned in the upstairs front room. There was a light in the lower hallway as well, but that was to be expected. ...
— The Further Adventures of Jimmie Dale • Frank L. Packard

... including a short trip from there to Antwerp, had served to distract my thoughts a little. As I did not at that moment feel at all inclined to devote my precious time to looking at works of art, I contented myself in Antwerp with a cursory glance at its outward aspect, which I found less rich in antiquities than I had anticipated. The situation of its famous citadel proved peculiarly disappointing. In view of the first act of my Lohengrin I had presumed that this citadel, which I imagined as the ancient ...
— My Life, Volume II • Richard Wagner

... which they make on the various points of Vedantic doctrine. But to the European scholar, or in fact to any one whose mind is not bound by the doctrine of /S/ruti, it will certainly appear that all such attempts stand self-condemned. If anything is evident even on a cursory review of the Upanishads—and the impression so created is only strengthened by a more careful investigation—it is that they do not constitute a systematic whole. They themselves, especially the older ones, give the most unmistakable ...
— The Vedanta-Sutras with the Commentary by Sankaracarya - Sacred Books of the East, Volume 1 • George Thibaut

... in my very cursory perusal of Bryant. He asks where Chatterton could find so much knowledge of English events? I could tell him where he might, by a very natural hypothesis, though merely an hypothesis. It appears by the evidence, that Canninge left ...
— Letters of Horace Walpole, V4 • Horace Walpole

... certain amount of novelty in the various suggestions here embodied, will be admitted on the most cursory perusal. The farther question of their worth ...
— Practical Essays • Alexander Bain

... strange old woman, who requested alms with an earnestness which exacted attention. The gentleman who was in company with our youth, and from whom we deliver the story, being an Irishman, instantly recognizing in the petitioner, an unhappy countrywoman, stopped, surveyed her with more than cursory regard, and put his hand into his pocket in order to give her money. As there was in her aspect that which bespoke something that had once been better accommodated, and had claims above a common mendicant, he was searching in ...
— The Mirror of Taste, and Dramatic Censor - Vol I, No. 2, February 1810 • Samuel James Arnold

... away from the door and standing in the center of the room, prepared for some stealthy, murderous assault. When none came I looked about for a weapon, and finally took the only thing in sight, a coal-tongs from the fireplace. Armed with that, I made a cursory round of the near-by rooms but there was no one hiding ...
— Sight Unseen • Mary Roberts Rinehart

... myself somewhat presentable upon leaving the steerage of the steamer, my trunk on a dray, I proceeded to an unprepossessing hotel kept by a colored man on Kearny street. The cursory view from the outside, and the further inspection on the inside, reminded me of the old lady's description of her watch, for she said, "it might look pretty hard on the outside, but the inside works were all right." ...
— Shadow and Light - An Autobiography with Reminiscences of the Last and Present Century • Mifflin Wistar Gibbs

... relate, firstly, the origin and sources of our chivalry; secondly, its character and teaching; thirdly, its influence among the masses; and, fourthly, the continuity and permanence of its influence. Of these several points, the first will be only brief and cursory, or else I should have to take my readers into the devious paths of our national history; the second will be dwelt upon at greater length, as being most likely to interest students of International Ethics and Comparative Ethology in ...
— Bushido, the Soul of Japan • Inazo Nitobe

... this young man and maid; everyone was either too much absorbed in the business of the morning, or too much accustomed to these final scenes of farewell and tenderness ere the lads went off for their three years' service, to throw more than a cursory glance on ...
— A Bride of the Plains • Baroness Emmuska Orczy

... Mr. Granson, after a cursory examination, pronounced the woman dead from suffocation, induced by intense pressure on the respiratory organs; and arrangements were made that the inquiry should take place on the following morning, before the return of ...
— A Pair of Blue Eyes • Thomas Hardy

... the young peasant girl waiting for him; slowly, with a swaggering step, he went up to her, stood a moment shrugging his shoulders, stuffed both hands in his coat pockets, and barely vouchsafing the poor girl a cursory and indifferent glance, he dropped on ...
— A Sportsman's Sketches - Volume II • Ivan Turgenev

... Teufelsdrockh, has nevertheless contrived to take in a well-nigh boundless extent of field; at least, the boundaries too often lie quite beyond our horizon. Selection being indispensable, we shall here glance over his First Part only in the most cursory manner. This First Part is, no doubt, distinguished by omnivorous learning, and utmost patience and fairness: at the same time, in its results and delineations, it is much more likely to interest the Compilers of some Library of General, Entertaining, Useful, ...
— Sartor Resartus - The Life and Opinions of Herr Teufelsdrockh • Thomas Carlyle

... prose writers of the eighteenth century, was born of English parents in Dublin in 1667. It is absolutely necessary to know something of his life in order to pass proper judgment on his writings. A cursory examination of his life will show that heredity and environment were responsible for many of his peculiarities. Swift's father died a few months before the birth of his son, and the boy saw but little of ...
— Halleck's New English Literature • Reuben P. Halleck

... Kings is strikingly unlike any modern historical narrative. Its comparative brevity, its curious perspective, and-with some brilliant exceptions—its relative monotony, are obvious to the most cursory perusal, and to understand these things is, in large measure, to understand the book. It covers a period of no less than four centuries. Beginning with the death of David and the accession of Solomon ...
— Introduction to the Old Testament • John Edgar McFadyen

... introduce our readers to scenes with which the European is little familiarised, some few cursory remarks, illustrative of the general features of the country into which we have shifted our labours, may not be deemed misplaced at the opening ...
— Wacousta: A Tale of the Pontiac Conspiracy (Complete) • John Richardson

... of his falling into the hands of Henry, presents in every line transactions stained with so much of falsehood and baseness, such revolting treachery and deceit, such wilful deliberate perjury, that we would gladly pass it over unread, or throw upon it the most cursory glance compatible with a bare knowledge of the facts. But whilst the desperate wickedness of the human heart is made to stand out through these transactions in most frightful colours, and whilst we shudder at the wanton prostitution of the most solemn ordinances of the Gospel, ...
— Henry of Monmouth, Volume 1 - Memoirs of Henry the Fifth • J. Endell Tyler

... the Law which thus gradually took form, a distinction may easily be traced even by the cursory reader. The earlier code, Deuteronomy, is full of a generous and lofty temper. It is one of the most impressive documents of the Jewish scriptures. Here is that which Jesus named as the first and great commandment: ...
— The Chief End of Man • George S. Merriam

... however, was but cursory. She was interested only in the flat-topped desk in front of her. She stepped quickly around it—and stopped-and a low cry of dismay came from her as she stared at the floor. The lower drawer had been completely removed, and now lay upturned beside the swivel chair, ...
— The White Moll • Frank L. Packard

... affords me just time to record my arrival yesterday, at the capital of the youthful but already great Queensland, and to give some opinions of the place after a glance, which is, however, of necessity so cursory. ...
— Personal Recollections of Early Melbourne & Victoria • William Westgarth

... from the exiles the sympathies of Europe, King James issued a proclamation bearing date the 5th of November, 1608, giving to the world the English version of the flight of the Earls. The whole of Ulster was then surveyed in a cursory manner by a staff over which presided Sir William Parsons as Surveyor-General. The surveys being completed early in 1609, a royal commission was issued to Chichester, Lambert, St. John, Ridgeway, Moore, Davis, and Parsons, with ...
— A Popular History of Ireland - From the earliest period to the emancipation of the Catholics • Thomas D'Arcy McGee

... K—— and me, and a horrible, long, lean, bird-like female, with immense red goggle-eyes, coal-black teeth, fingers like claws, a great goitre, and drinking brandy at intervals, sat opposite to us. There were also various men buried in their sarapes. Satisfied with a cursory inspection of our companions, I addressed myself to Blackwood's Magazine, but the road which leads towards the Desierto, and which we before passed on horseback, is dreadful, and the mules could scarcely drag the loaded coach up the steep hills. We were thrown into ruts, horribly jolted, ...
— Life in Mexico • Frances Calderon De La Barca

... The most cursory examination of these analytical numbers is sufficient to show that a very close relation subsists between the different substances just described. Indeed, with the exception of vegetable caseine, they may be said all to present the same composition; and, as already mentioned, there ...
— Elements of Agricultural Chemistry • Thomas Anderson

... to Slang by superficial minds is undeserved. In other days, before the language was crystallized into the idiom and verbiage of the doctrinaire, prose, too, was untrammeled. Indeed, a cursory glance at the Elizabethan poets discloses a kinship with the rebellious fancies of our modern colloquial talk. Mr. Irwin's sonnets may be taken as an indication of this revolt, and how nearly they approach the incisive phrases of the seventeenth century may easily be shown ...
— The Love Sonnets of a Hoodlum • Wallace Irwin

... through the Reservation—and if you are taking even the most cursory glimpse of Milton you must include some portion of this park—you will pass the open space where in the early days, when Milton country life was modeled upon English country life more closely than now, Malcolm ...
— The Old Coast Road - From Boston to Plymouth • Agnes Rothery

... cursory glance round the room, strode its length towards the bar where Haase stood, a crowd of plain-clothes men and policemen at his heels. Then quite suddenly the light went out, plunging the place into darkness. Instantly the room was in confusion; women screamed; a voice, which I recognized as Clubfoot's, ...
— The Man with the Clubfoot • Valentine Williams

... in this matter may have carried him no further than Josephus and the worthy, but somewhat antique, episcopal and other authorities to whom he refers; that even his reading of Josephus may have been of the most cursory nature, directed not to the understanding of his author, but to the discovery of useful controversial matter; and that, in view of the not inconsiderable misrepresentation of my statements to which I have drawn attention, it might be ...
— Collected Essays, Volume V - Science and Christian Tradition: Essays • T. H. Huxley

... into bear-gardens, and the basic ideal of good-fellowship goes by the board. In Paris, Petersburg, Vienna, the only social clubs that prosper are those which are devoted to games of chance—those which induce silence by artificial means. Were I a foreign visitor, taking cursory glances, I should doubtless be delighted with the clubs of London. Had I the honour to be an Englishman, I should doubtless love them. But being a foreign resident, I am somewhat oppressed by them. I crave in them a little ...
— Yet Again • Max Beerbohm

... giving it a cursory looking over, but could find nothing out of the way, and every one of them felt ...
— Around the World in Ten Days • Chelsea Curtis Fraser

... two-score structures, and only a cursory glance was needed to ascertain that it was the source of supplies and rendez-vous for entertainment of the several mines and all the miners and prospectors in the neighboring hills. Several fairly good roads and many trails led into it, and from it there was a main road of travel ...
— The Coyote - A Western Story • James Roberts

... the last warlike expedition which Major Denham accompanied; and while his zeal for discovery is commendable, yet he seems to have acted most injudiciously in exposing himself to danger, for the sake of acquiring a cursory and superficial knowledge (all that his opportunities enabled him to do) of ...
— Life and Travels of Mungo Park in Central Africa • Mungo Park

... must cost a fortune!" I cried, gazing about me at the splendors of the room, which even to a cursory inspection revealed themselves as of priceless value. "That cloisonne jar over by the fireplace is worth two hundred ...
— Mrs. Raffles - Being the Adventures of an Amateur Crackswoman • John Kendrick Bangs

... design was produced, and some of the later patrol boats were converted and called "P Q's." These vessels had the appearance of small merchant ships at a cursory glance. They would not, however, stand close examination owing, again, to their fine lines, but being better sea boats than the "P's," by reason of their greater freeboard, the design was continued, ...
— The Crisis of the Naval War • John Rushworth Jellicoe

... lands to put them to their most productive use, and it is said with truth that this best use is the tillage of small areas by small owners. Unfortunately, the facts and this theory disagree. Even the most cursory examination of large holdings throughout the West will refute the contention that the intelligent self-interest of large owners results promptly and directly in the making of homes. Few passions of the human mind are stronger ...
— The Fight For Conservation • Gifford Pinchot

... principal are a renunciation, in the strongest terms, of all sovereignty claimed by the King of Great Britain for himself and his successors. A description of the limits of the States agreeably to the ultimata of Congress, as nearly as I can recollect from a cursory perusal; the right of fishery on the Great Bank accorded; the same on the coasts of Nova Scotia, in the Straits of Labrador, and the Gulf of St Lawrence, with the permission to cure and dry our fish on all the uninhabited parts of Nova Scotia and Labrador, the Islands of Magdaline ...
— The Diplomatic Correspondence of the American Revolution, Vol. IX • Various

... a democratic nicker and went forward briskly. And the rider turned his head, eyed the girl sharply as she came up, and nodded a cursory greeting. His horse lifted its head to look, decided that it wanted another swallow or two, and lowered its muzzle again to ...
— The Ranch at the Wolverine • B. M. Bower

... This very cursory survey of the main influences and circumstances that have shaped the course and set the fashion of our modern novel of adventure may be useful in explaining its actual position at the present moment. ...
— Studies in Literature and History • Sir Alfred Comyn Lyall

... well to state here a cursory examination of the mouth will not discover root abscesses any more than such examination will discover non-suppurative sinus disease. A careful examination of each tooth together with radiograms of the entire maxilla ...
— Glaucoma - A Symposium Presented at a Meeting of the Chicago - Ophthalmological Society, November 17, 1913 • Various

... to be a Boss City hereaway on this end of the lake," said the captain of the little boat; and though he spoke with much labour of imprecation, both needless then and now, taking what might be termed a cursory view of the situation, he summed up the prospects of Duluth conclusively and ...
— The Great Lone Land - A Narrative of Travel and Adventure in the North-West of America • W. F. Butler



Words linked to "Cursory" :   perfunctory, careless



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