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

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 Soth and King found common inspiration in the work of composer John Cage, and having the rules for an improvisation driven by tumbling dice is the kind of thing that Cage would do with the dance company of his partner, Merce Cunningham. Rob Hubbard, Star Tribune, "Sound meets vision as Dave King and Alec Soth square off in an artistic pingpong match," 1 Feb. 2021 The Louisville running back will follow his blocking up to a point, but then improvisation takes over. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville's Javian Hawkins impresses through improvisation against Florida State," 25 Oct. 2020 One of the invaluable design lessons still being learned is that successful public space is about improvisation and adaptation, about letting people figure out how best to use it. Washington Post, "Think of the debate as a public park. The president was polluting it.," 30 Sep. 2020 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

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

8 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Improvisation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 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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Comments on improvisation

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