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cursory (adj) done quickly and without much attention.

A quick look at something without paying attention to detail, and not taking care is a cursory glance. When you don't inspect something thoroughly, you make a cursory inspection; your inspection is not thorough. The inspection is rather careless and perhaps done just because it has to be done. 'A cursory glance through the letter, and I was convinced that he did not like the job.' This means that a quick look at the contents of the letter let me know of his dislike for the job.

  • A cursory inspection of the books of accounts revealed swindling to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars. We were therefore sure that a thorough check would show a swindling of twice the amount.
  • The committee's enquiry was just routine and cursory. It was evident that the members were in a hurry, and could not spare time for a detailed enquiry.
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Last Modified : 11-May 2009
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