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

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

Synonyms for improvisation


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Examples of improvisation in a Sentence

that comedy skit was a totally unrehearsed improvisation
Recent Examples on the Web In Sunday services, Dorsey encouraged handclapping, foot stomping, and improvisation. David Remnick, The New Yorker, 27 June 2022 The two actors spoke of working with Swift as a director: The intimate production was based on collaboration, exploration, and improvisation. Ian Malone, Vogue, 11 June 2022 Could jazz improvisation be a key to understanding how the brain invents? Sandee Lamotte, CNN, 9 June 2022 Adding to the sense of last minute improvisation, Biden since taking office has reversed many of the Trump-era policies tightening a decades-old U.S. embargo on Cuba. Elliot Spagat, Joshua Goodman And Chris Megerian, Anchorage Daily News, 6 June 2022 Taking jazz singing classes at a music conservatory helped shape the improvisation techniques central to her vocals on new material. Marjua Estevez,, 27 Apr. 2022 But play and improvisation using levity can lower stress levels among coworkers while raising engagement levels. Steven Cody, Forbes, 22 Apr. 2022 Anwar Carrots has gotten there, not just through will and improvisation but by allowing connections to steer his course. Los Angeles Times, 21 Apr. 2022 Mingus was a visionary composer, a fearless band leader and a pioneer of collective improvisation. George Varga, San Diego Union-Tribune, 17 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of improvisation

1777, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of improvisation was in 1777

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Last Updated

2 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Improvisation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jul. 2022.

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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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