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

Other Words from ad-lib

Verb

ad-lib noun

Did you know?

Ad-lib is a shortening of Latin ad libitum, which means "in accordance with one's wishes." In the past, ad libitum was used to refer to any activity where the performer was free to do whatever they liked for as long as desired, whether the activity be drawing, working math problems, talking, playing music, or acting.

Examples of ad-lib in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Susan, the comment, the ad lib heard round the world, literally. NBC News, 27 Mar. 2022 There apparently were an ad lib remark that Vladimir Putin just can't remain in power. NBC News, 27 Mar. 2022 Another challenge is that audience members are called up on stage, to be additional spellers in the bee, which requires, per the script, the ability to ad lib. Steve Smith, courant.com, 21 Oct. 2021 With his perfect presentation left back home, Knapp is forced to ad lib. Michael Chavez, Forbes, 21 Sep. 2021 To be repeated ad lib, to be put right when the curtain goes up in earnest. Madeleine Schwartz, The New Yorker, 29 Mar. 2021 There might be formal lyrics, or participants might choose to ad lib, with others joining for the chorus, said Matthew Baya, a radio show host from Williamstown, Massachusetts. David Sharp, Star Tribune, 29 Jan. 2021 Travis Scott does the honors of the titular ad lib, and The Weeknd earned a credit as one of the songwriters (his demo was leaked in 2018). Billboard Staff, Billboard, 28 Jan. 2021 Be prepared and also be able to ad lib questions about the person interviewing you. Liz Bentley, Marie Claire, 12 Mar. 2020 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near ad-lib

adless

ad-lib

ad lib

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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 25 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for ad-lib

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

More from Merriam-Webster on ad-lib

Nglish: Translation of ad-lib for Spanish Speakers

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