ex·​tem·​po·​rize | \ ik-ˈstem-pə-ˌrīz How to pronounce extemporize (audio) \
extemporized; extemporizing

Definition of extemporize

intransitive verb

1 : to do something extemporaneously : improvise especially : to speak extemporaneously
2 : to get along in a makeshift manner

transitive verb

: to compose, perform, or utter extemporaneously : improvise extemporized an after-dinner speech

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from extemporize

extemporizer noun

Did You Know?

Extemporize means to say or do something on the spur of the moment, an appropriate meaning given the word's history. "Extemporize" was coined by adding the suffix -ize to Latin ex tempore, meaning "instantaneously" or "on the spur of the moment." "Ex tempore," in turn, was formed by combining "ex" and a form of the noun tempus, meaning "time." Incidentally, "ex tempore" was also borrowed wholesale into English (where it means "extemporaneously"). Other descendents of Latin ex tempore include the now rare "extemporal" and "extemporary" (both synonyms of "extemporaneous"), and, as you have no doubt guessed by now, "extemporaneous" itself.

Examples of extemporize in a Sentence

a good talk show host has to be able to extemporize the interviews when things don't go as planned
Recent Examples on the Web The Trump that appeared in the East Room of the White House to honor the singers was not the same figure who likes to crack jokes and extemporize freely when rubbing shoulders with superstars. Rob Crilly, Washington Examiner, "Trump fumes as aides try to fill final days with perks of the White House," 15 Jan. 2021 That meant players were able to extemporize, to take chances without being accused of departing too far from the team playbook. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Hansen has high hope as All Blacks coaching tenure nears end," 20 Sep. 2019 And they are exacerbated by Mr. Trump’s tendency to extemporize and the North Koreans’ long track record of duplicitous negotiation. Jonathan Cheng, WSJ, "How a Donald Trump-Kim Jong Un Summit Scrambles the Calculus for Key Players," 9 Mar. 2018 Each presenter now has the freedom to extemporize on the warning — a nonnegotiable requirement of the program’s opening — but not by much. Rory Smith, New York Times, "If You Don’t Want to Know What This Article Is About, Please Look Away Now," 14 Apr. 2017 Apparently the idea was to extemporize on some issues that had come up during the performance. Sarah Lyall, New York Times, "Starring Me! A Surreal Dive Into Immersive Theater," 7 Jan. 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'extemporize.' 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 extemporize

1592, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about extemporize

Time Traveler for extemporize

Time Traveler

The first known use of extemporize was in 1592

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast about extemporize

Statistics for extemporize

Cite this Entry

“Extemporize.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/extemporize. Accessed 22 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on extemporize

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for extemporize

Comments on extemporize

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Flower Edition

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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