Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To do or perform (something) without prior preparation or practice: extemporized an acceptance speech.
  • intransitive v. To perform an act or utter something in an impromptu manner; improvise: "bravely demonstrating his ability to extemporize intelligently” ( William Safire).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To do something, particularly to perform or speak, without prior planning or thought; to act in an impromptu manner; to improvise.
  • v. To do, create, improvise, adapt, or devise in an impromptu or spontaneous manner.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To speak extempore; especially, to discourse without special preparation; to make an offhand address.
  • transitive v. To do, make, or utter extempore or off-hand; to prepare in great haste, under urgent necessity, or with scanty or unsuitable materials

from The 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.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. perform without preparation
  • v. manage in a makeshift way; do with whatever is at hand

Etymologies

From extempore.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.