ad-lib

verb
\ ˈad-ˈlib How to pronounce ad-lib (audio) \
ad-libbed; ad-libbing

Definition of ad-lib

 (Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

: to deliver spontaneously

intransitive verb

: to improvise especially lines or a speech

ad-lib

adjective

Definition of ad-lib (Entry 2 of 3)

: spoken, composed, or performed without preparation

ad lib

adverb

Definition of ad lib (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : in accordance with one's wishes
2 : without restraint or limit

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Other Words from ad-lib

Verb

ad-lib noun

Examples of ad-lib in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Be prepared and also be able to ad lib questions about the person interviewing you. Liz Bentley, Marie Claire, "How to Arm Yourself with the Right Questions for a Job Interview," 12 Mar. 2020 The line—both funny and heartbreakingly innocent—was Cazale’s ad lib. Michael Schulman, The New Yorker, "Respect for Fredo, a Character Who Is So Much More Than a Political Insult," 13 Aug. 2019 Brad had better anticipation and less arm strength, but Randall has a bigger arm and could ad lib and do other things that other quarterbacks can’t do. Conor Orr, SI.com, "The Greatest Team Never to Make It: An Oral History of the 1998 Vikings," 27 June 2018 The song features the trio’s usual choppy, ad lib-heavy flow, but paired with a refreshingly melodic, video game-sounding trap beat, complete with a synth crooning quietly in the back. Natalie Maher, Billboard, "Migos Drop 'Supastars,' Latest Cut From Upcoming 'Culture II' Album," 22 Jan. 2018 Trump's ad lib diplomacy may be partly in response to that dearth of good information. Philip Elliott, Time, "Kim Jong Un Isn't the Only Wild Card In the North Korea Crisis," 7 Sep. 2017

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

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First Known Use of ad-lib

Verb

1910, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Adjective

1819, in the meaning defined above

Adverb

1791, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for ad-lib

Verb

derivative of ad lib

Adjective

derivative of ad lib

Adverb

short for ad libitum entry 1

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Time Traveler for ad-lib

Time Traveler

The first known use of ad-lib was in 1791

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Statistics for ad-lib

Cite this Entry

“Ad-lib.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ad-lib. Accessed 15 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for ad-lib

ad-lib

verb
How to pronounce ad lib (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of ad-lib

: to make up words or music in a performance instead of saying or playing something that has been planned

ad-lib

verb
\ ˈad-ˈlib \
ad-libbed; ad-libbing

Kids Definition of ad-lib

: to make up something and especially music or spoken lines during a performance : improvise

ad-lib

adjective
\ (ˈ)ad-ˈlib How to pronounce ad-lib (audio) \

Medical Definition of ad-lib

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: made or done spontaneously : not controlled by a schedule ad-lib feeding of animals

ad lib

adverb
\ (ˈ)ad-ˈlib How to pronounce ad lib (audio) \

Medical Definition of ad lib (Entry 2 of 2)

: without restraint or imposed limit : as much or as often as is wanted the animals were given water ad libScience often used in writing prescriptions

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More from Merriam-Webster on ad-lib

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ad-lib

Spanish Central: Translation of ad-lib

Nglish: Translation of ad-lib for Spanish Speakers

Comments on ad-lib

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