American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- v. To do or perform (something) without prior preparation or practice: extemporized an acceptance speech.
- v. To perform an act or utter something in an impromptu manner; improvise: "bravely demonstrating his ability to extemporize intelligently” ( William Safire).
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To make or provide for a sudden and unexpected occasion; prepare in haste with the means within one's reach: as, to extemporize a speech or a dinner; to extemporize a couch or a shelter.
- Specifically To compose without premeditation on a special occasion: as, he extemporized a brilliant accompaniment.
- To speak extempore; speak without previous study or preparation; discourse without notes or written draft.
- To sing, or play on an instrument, composing the music as it proceeds; improvise. See improvise.
- Also spelled extemporise.
- v. intransitive To do something, particularly to perform or speak, without prior planning or thought; to act in an impromptu manner; to improvise.
- v. transitive To do, create, improvise, adapt, or devise in an impromptu or spontaneous manner.
GNU Webster's 1913
- v. To speak extempore; especially, to discourse without special preparation; to make an offhand address.
- v. To do, make, or utter extempore or off-hand; to prepare in great haste, under urgent necessity, or with scanty or unsuitable materials
- v. perform without preparation
- v. manage in a makeshift way; do with whatever is at hand
- From extempore. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“You really have to know the melody inside out and that allows you to embellish, to extemporize on it with freedom.”
“I'm discovering that I like Danilaw a lot -- he's got the ability to extemporize political speeches like a trained skald and he's also pretty funny.”
“He did not care to ascertain if she had replenished the lilacs in the tower room, and, at lunch, which was shared with three farm college students from Davis, he found himself forced to extemporize a busy afternoon for himself when Paula tentatively suggested that she would drive Graham up from Eldorado.”
“At the 1952 Republican National Convention in Chicago, former president Herbert Hoover used a teleprompter to address delegates but lost his place after breaking off to extemporize.”
“If there's anything more fun than taking apart a workshop poem, it's to read the blurbs poets are sometimes expected to extemporize, to justify/apologize for/self-deprecatingly praise/preemptively neuter their own poetry.”
“Faced with these charged events, prepackaged emotions already in place, we can only stitch together a set of emergency scenarios, just as our sleeping minds extemporize a narrative from the unrelated memories that veer through the cortical night.”
“She was out of her league, and fed a script she didn't know enough about to extemporize.”
“Things turned for Truman when his aides hit on the idea of liberating him from his speech texts: They gave him talking points and let him extemporize.”
“I'm too dumb to extemporize the appropriate answer myself, but maybe if the others had gone first I could have gotten a clue from them.”
“Bideford that day, to extemporize a pageant, a masque, or any effort of the Thespian art short of the regular drama.”
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Words that I'll use to sound erudite.
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By David Foster Wallace
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Words and phrases from Scott Lynch's book, The Lies of Locke Lamora
GRE High Frenquency Words (including the Ubiquitous 400)
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