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

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 the noun tempus, meaning "time." Incidentally, ex tempore was also borrowed wholesale into English (where it means "extemporaneously"). Other descendants 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 Feel free to extemporize, enthuse and connect with people, rather than overwork the data. Palena Neale, Forbes, 26 Oct. 2021 In public appearances, Emanuel likes to extemporize, cajole, and find a connection. Connie Bruck, The New Yorker, 19 Apr. 2021 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, 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, 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, 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, 14 Apr. 2017 Apparently the idea was to extemporize on some issues that had come up during the performance. Sarah Lyall, New York Times, 7 Jan. 2016 See More

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.

First Known Use of extemporize

1592, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near extemporize




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for extemporize

Cite this Entry

“Extemporize.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/extemporize. Accessed 1 Jul. 2022.

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Food

  • a-light
  • Name these cookies!
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

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!