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 improvisation (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 The Davey O’Brien semifinalist’s arm talent and improvisation skills are equally impressive. Eddie Brown, San Diego Union-Tribune, "2021 NFL Mock Draft: Two rounds!," 31 Dec. 2020 The unpredictability, improvisation, assurance is part of what sets Tyler Herro apart. Ira Winderman,, "Tyler Herro gets back to wild-child self and Heat thrive," 31 Dec. 2020 Their victory was part improvisation, part determination, and never sure. Los Angeles Times, "Column: Chargers’ tenacity finally starting to show even if it’s too late to save season," 28 Dec. 2020 Forced to abandon a Dec. 5 home game against Washington and relocate to Seattle, the Cardinal spent the week in improvisation mode. Bruce Jenkins,, "From Buster Posey’s opt-out to the Arizona 49ers: Only-in-2020 sports moments," 26 Dec. 2020 These classes can cover any artistic genre, inclding dance, cooking, baking, jewelry making, painting, writing, drawing, improvisation, music theory, scrapbooking, or even juggling. cleveland, "Beachwood Arts Council online exhibit, featuring art for sale, runs through Dec. 31: Press Run," 6 Nov. 2020 My family’s financial constraints necessitated ingenuity and improvisation. Washington Post, "I grew up learning to cook what’s on hand, and now it’s my pandemic superpower," 8 Dec. 2020 The two met while painting a chair for a school theater set and hatched Lenny and Squiggy over late-night improvisation sessions in Lander’s dorm. Deborah Vankin, Los Angeles Times, "David L. Lander, Squiggy of “Laverne & Shirley” dies at 73," 5 Dec. 2020 Passages of long, open harmony are common; sometimes those become lengthy stretches of collective improvisation, musicians conversing at a low simmer, resisting the typical urge to raise the temperature or set a course. New York Times, "Best Jazz Albums of 2020," 2 Dec. 2020

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

15 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Improvisation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.

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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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