im·​pro·​vi·​sa·​tion | \ (ˌ)im-ˌprä-və-ˈzā-shən How to pronounce improvisation (audio) , ˌim-prə-və- also ˌim-prə-(ˌ)vī- \

Definition of improvisation

1 : the act or art of improvising
2 : something (such as a musical or dramatic composition) improvised

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Other Words from improvisation

improvisational \ (ˌ)im-​ˌprä-​və-​ˈzā-​shnəl How to pronounce improvisational (audio) , -​shə-​nᵊl , ˌim-​prə-​və-​ also  ˌim-​prə-​(ˌ)vī-​ \ adjective
improvisationally adverb

Examples of improvisation in a Sentence

that comedy skit was a totally unrehearsed improvisation
Recent Examples on the Web But Brady made up for it with the beautiful improvisation and throw on the run to Bolden for a 29-yard touchdown., "LANDOVER, Md. — Instant analysis from the Patriots’ 33-7 win over the Redskins:," 7 Oct. 2019 As for most underage migrants traveling without their parents, his trip north has been a feat of improvisation and courage. Paulina Villegas, New York Times, "Detentions of Child Migrants at the U.S. Border Has Surged to Record Levels," 29 Oct. 2019 To disappear now into a bowl of her pork belly and dumpling soup at her Beverly Boulevard cafe, Spoon by H, is to taste the food of a chef who’s been thinking about improvisation and texture and harmonics her entire life. Los Angeles Times, "Review: At the best Korean restaurant outside Ktown, start with the amazing dumpling soup," 10 Oct. 2019 Against Steele’s defense, State is going to need Shrader’s improvisation and ability to extend a play with his feet. Charles Hollis, al, "Auburn hitting groove, should be going into LSU showdown unbeaten," 26 Sep. 2019 For many people in these situations, plastic straws offer a degree of independence and improvisation that make the basic task of hydration more manageable. Soleil Ho,, "Why nonplastic straws are a terrible solution to a systemic problem," 13 Sep. 2019 The string quartet jam band will perform new interpretations and improvisations of popular rock and classic hits. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Fishing club hosts fundraiser to benefit area Marines, youths," 9 Sep. 2019 Ali El Sayed, the restaurant’s chef and sole employee, who refuses to be confined to a menu, is committed to exotic meats and flamboyant improvisation. David Kortava, The New Yorker, "Kabab Café’s “Snout to Tail” Delicacies," 23 Aug. 2019 But the real trick is being able to play, to be able to get down on the floor like my kids with the characters and material, and allow whimsy and improvisation and sense of humor to come in while still maintaining the character structure and stakes. Greg Braxton,, "'Legion's' Noah Hawley wants to build you more than an emotional roller coaster," 24 June 2019

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

1777, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for improvisation

Time Traveler

The first known use of improvisation was in 1777

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Statistics for improvisation

Last Updated

1 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Improvisation.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 14 December 2019.

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More Definitions for improvisation


im·​pro·​vi·​sa·​tion | \ im-ˌprä-və-ˈzā-shən How to pronounce improvisation (audio) \

Kids Definition of improvisation

1 : the act or art of speaking or performing without practicing or preparing ahead of time
2 : something that is improvised

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