ad hoc

adverb
\ ˈad-ˈhäk How to pronounce ad hoc (audio) , -ˈhōk; ˈäd-ˈhōk How to pronounce ad hoc (audio) \

Definition of ad hoc

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: for the particular end or case at hand without consideration of wider application The decisions were made ad hoc.

ad hoc

adjective

Definition of ad hoc (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : concerned with a particular end or purpose an ad hoc investigating committee
b : formed or used for specific or immediate problems or needs ad hoc solutions
2 : fashioned from whatever is immediately available : improvised large ad hoc parades and demonstrations— Nat Hentoff

Keep scrolling for more

Did You Know?

Ad hoc literally means "for this" in Latin, and in English this almost always means "for this specific purpose". Issues that come up in the course of a project often require immediate, ad hoc solutions. An ad hoc investigating committee is authorized to look into a matter of limited scope. An ad hoc ruling by an athletic council is intended to settle a particular case, and is not meant to serve as a model for later rulings. If an organization deals with too many things on an ad hoc basis, it may mean someone hasn't been doing enough planning.

Examples of ad hoc in a Sentence

Adjective

The mayor appointed an ad hoc committee to study the project. We had to make some ad hoc changes to the plans. We'll hire more staff on an ad hoc basis.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Performance standards scarcely suggested that these were ad hoc groups assembled just for the festival from major orchestras and conservatories. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, "Rousing hymn singing, virtuoso organ playing and enterprising chamber music programs," 11 July 2019 Now, new research has located the site of the ad hoc trading post, and it’s not laid out the way organizers remember. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Archaeologists Are Finding Woodstock Really Did Take On Life of Its Own," 27 June 2019 The subway system, in particular, has served as an ad hoc gallery of great poster art for decades. Anne Quito, Quartzy, "The New York subway is a gallery for a great poster-art series," 24 June 2019 Before playing at Fenway Park for the first time after the tragedy, Ortiz took the field and delivered an ad hoc speech that's already gone down in Boston history. Aj Willingham, CNN, "Why David Ortiz is beloved beyond baseball (and how he got the nickname Big Papi)," 10 June 2019 Ibañez was one of several citizens who worked on an ad hoc committee to strengthen Evanston’s Welcoming City Ordinance. Jennifer Fisher, chicagotribune.com, "Use of county Homeland Security vehicle at Evanston street fair sparks outcry amid threats of ICE raids," 27 June 2019 Ward 2 Councilman Nick Hanek was the council representative on the Brunswick Lake ad hoc committee. Brian Lisik, cleveland.com, "Brunswick Lake’s Dinosaur Trail faces extinction in county parks master plan proposal," 11 June 2019 Greene Farm Barn seeking partners The Greene Farm Barn ad hoc committee is looking for nonprofit agencies interested in using the 14,000-square-foot historic barn located at the corner of Hobson and Greene roads near Naperville and Woodridge. Michelle Mullins, Naperville Sun, "Naperville News Digest," 7 June 2019 Federal law doesn’t define an emergency, and for much of American history such declarations largely were ad hoc. Jess Bravin, WSJ, "Can Trump Build a Wall Under a National Emergency?," 8 Jan. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ad hoc.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of ad hoc

Adverb

1639, in the meaning defined above

Adjective

1879, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for ad hoc

Adverb

borrowed from Latin, "for this"

Adjective

derivative of ad hoc entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about ad hoc

Listen to Our Podcast about ad hoc

Dictionary Entries near ad hoc

adhesivity

adhibit

adhio

ad hoc

ad hocism

ad hockery

ad-hocracy

Statistics for ad hoc

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ad hoc

The first known use of ad hoc was in 1639

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for ad hoc

ad hoc

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of ad hoc

: formed or used for a special purpose
: made or done without planning because of an immediate need

ad hoc

adverb
\ ˈad-ˈhäk, -ˈhōk; ˈäd-ˈhōk How to pronounce ad hoc (audio) \

Legal Definition of ad hoc

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: for the particular end or case at hand without consideration of wider application

ad hoc

adjective

Legal Definition of ad hoc (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : concerned with a particular end or purpose an ad hoc investigating committee
2 : formed or used for specific or immediate problems or needs ad hoc solutions

History and Etymology for ad hoc

Adverb

Latin, for this

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on ad hoc

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ad hoc

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ad hoc

Nglish: Translation of ad hoc for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ad hoc for Arabic Speakers

Comments on ad hoc

What made you want to look up ad hoc? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

an act or instance of editing or removing

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!