impromptu

noun
im·​promp·​tu | \ im-ˈpräm(p)-(ˌ)tü , -(ˌ)tyü\

Definition of impromptu

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : something that is impromptu
2 : a musical composition suggesting improvisation

impromptu

adjective

Definition of impromptu (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : made, done, or formed on or as if on the spur of the moment : improvised
2 : composed or uttered without previous preparation : extemporaneous

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Other Words from impromptu

Adjective

impromptu adverb

Did You Know?

Adjective

If you think that "impromptu" looks like a relative of "prompt," you're right; both are ultimately derived from the Latin promere, meaning "to bring forth, take out." "Impromptu" was borrowed from French, where it meant "extemporaneously," but French speakers picked it up from the Latin phrase in promptu, a "promere" descendant meaning "in readiness" or "at hand." There is also another, much rarer descendant of "promere" in English - the noun promptuary, meaning "a book of ready reference."

Examples of impromptu in a Sentence

Noun

although five different lines had been written, the best choice turned out to be an impromptu from the tired actor himself

Adjective

Two of my friends came by unexpectedly, and we had an impromptu little party in my kitchen. He made an impromptu speech about honor and responsibility.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Markle's impromptu massage session wasn't the only adorable moment to come out of Wednesday's visit to Sussex. Zoe Weiner, Glamour, "Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Were So Touchy-Feely at Today's Royal Engagement," 3 Oct. 2018 With Trump, a Cabinet meeting becomes a freewheeling speech to the nation, and a walk to Marine One turns into an impromptu news conference. BostonGlobe.com, "Trump’s reveal of his Supreme Court choice will be a show, and that’s how he likes it," 8 July 2018 But the crowd loved Travolta’s impromptu dance, screaming and cheering at the end of his and 50 Cent’s performance. Mariah Haas, PEOPLE.com, "John Travolta Shows Off His Dance Moves As He Joins 50 Cent On Stage at the Cannes Film Festival," 16 May 2018 State and pro-government media uploaded images on social media depicting residents waving Syrian flags, flashing victory signs and breaking into an impromptu step dance near Umayyad Square. Alexandra Zavis, latimes.com, "In Syria's capital, U.S. strikes packed a jolt but didn't shake government's resolve," 14 Apr. 2018 Nirenberg said at the impromptu press conference that the council would push out performance metrics for 2018 within the next month. Josh Baugh, San Antonio Express-News, "Council awards Sculley $75,000 bonus for 2017 performance," 25 Jan. 2018 In the episode that aired on Sunday, the cartoon family makes an impromptu pit stop at the Prada Marfa installation on a road trip through Texas. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Prada Makes an Unlikely Cameo on The Simpsons," 11 Jan. 2019 Kate Middleton's impromptu shopping trip to a British discount store before Christmas caught the world's attention. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kate Middleton’s Nickname for Princess Charlotte Is Beyond Adorable," 26 Dec. 2018 Carrying a Switch around in your bag now means there’s always a possible impromptu Smash battle on the horizon. Andrew Webster, The Verge, "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the complete package," 6 Dec. 2018

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

Noun

1683, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1764, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for impromptu

Noun

French, from impromptu extemporaneously, from Latin in promptu in readiness

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Time Traveler for impromptu

The first known use of impromptu was in 1683

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More Definitions for impromptu

impromptu

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of impromptu

: not prepared ahead of time : made or done without preparation

impromptu

adjective
im·​promp·​tu | \ im-ˈprämp-tü , -tyü\

Kids Definition of impromptu

: not prepared ahead of time : made or done without preparation an impromptu speech

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Comments on impromptu

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