ad-lib

verb
\ˈad-ˈlib \
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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from ad-lib

Verb

ad-lib noun

Examples of ad-lib in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about ad-lib

Dictionary Entries near ad-lib

Adlerian

adless

ad lib

ad-lib

ad-libber

ad libitum

ad litem

Statistics for ad-lib

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ad-lib

The first known use of ad-lib was in 1791

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for ad-lib

ad-lib

verb

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 \

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 \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on ad-lib

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a trusted follower

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

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!