im·​prov | \ ˈim-ˌpräv How to pronounce improv (audio) \

Definition of improv

: of, relating to, or being improvisation and especially an improvised comedy routine

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Other Words from improv

improv noun

Examples of improv in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

After 20 years in New York, the Del Close Marathon — the Upright Citizens Brigade’s 55 hours of nonstop long-form improv comedy, with more than 500 performers from across the country — is taking place in L.A. for the first time. Tim Greiving,, "Upright Citizens Brigade brings its 55-hour improv comedy marathon to L.A.," 27 June 2019 Rule #2: Don’t be a blocker In improv speak, when someone ignores or refuses to engage in a fellow player’s action, this is called blocking. Bob Dusin, Quartz at Work, "To be your most authentic self at work, get better at pretending," 13 June 2019 Plus his improv game was on point, riffing off seasoned comedians Wong, Park, and Vivian Bang as Marcus’ hippie girlfriend Jenny, who’s equally smitten with Reeves. Jen Yamato, Twin Cities, "Keanu Reeves’ ‘Always Be My Maybe’ role has everyone obsessing. Here’s why.," 3 June 2019 The improv performer Nicole Pasquale hosts this socially conscious variety show, now at a new time slot. Kasia Pilat, New York Times, "5 Comedy Shows to Catch in N.Y.C. This Weekend," 31 May 2018 In our class of improv newbies, warm-up exercises helped everyone get over their jitters about jumping into scenes with strangers and trying to be clever. Francesca Gino, WSJ, "Want to Run a Good Meeting? First, Take a Comedy Class," 26 Oct. 2018 But these also happen to be skills that are at work during improv comedy. Shay Maunz, Glamour, "Funny Girls Is Teaching Girls to Be Leaders Through Improv," 6 Dec. 2018 So, after eight hours and 500 miles: thumbs-up to the improv DVD system. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "I Figured Out the Best Way to Distract My Kids on a Road Trip: DVDs (Seriously)," 9 Nov. 2018 After college, Bee joined an improv troupe in Toronto. Lorraine Berry, Marie Claire, "How 'Full Frontal with Samantha Bee' Came into Its Own," 10 May 2017

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

1978, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for improv

short for improvisation

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Statistics for improv

Last Updated

9 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for improv

The first known use of improv was in 1978

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More from Merriam-Webster on improv

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for improv

Comments on improv

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


to form ideas or theories about something

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