improvise

verb
im·​pro·​vise | \ ˈim-prə-ˌvīz also ˌim-prə-ˈvīz How to pronounce improvise (audio) \
improvised; improvising

Definition of improvise

transitive verb

1 : to compose, recite, play, or sing extemporaneously
2 : to make, invent, or arrange offhand the quarterback improvised a play
3 : to make or fabricate out of what is conveniently on hand improvise a meal

intransitive verb

: to improvise something

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Other Words from improvise

improviser or improvisor \ ˈim-​prə-​ˌvī-​zər How to pronounce improvisor (audio) , ˌim-​prə-​ˈvī-​ \ noun

Examples of improvise in a Sentence

If you forget any of your lines, try to improvise. Good jazz musicians know how to improvise. He had to improvise his opening speech when he forgot his notes. The trumpet player performed an improvised solo. I wasn't expecting guests, so I had to improvise a meal with what I had in my refrigerator.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Ryan Gosling improvised that iconic, passionate line at the end of the movie. Noelle Devoe, Seventeen, "16 Shocking Facts About "The Notebook" That Will Change How You See the Movie," 28 Nov. 2018 Humiliated in front of her son, Tammé leaves the ring, leaving Ruth to have to improvise a new ending to the match. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "GLOW season 2 is less than the sum of its parts. But those parts are amazing.," 29 June 2018 Draco Malfoy's funniest line was improvised by Tom Felton. Noelle Devoe, Seventeen, "33 Mind-Blowing "Harry Potter" Movie Facts That'll Make You Want to Watch Them All Over Again," 31 Jan. 2019 Frank showed me more advanced chords and new ways to improvise. Marc Myers, WSJ, "Jeff Goldblum Fulfilled a Teenage Dream Written on Steamed Glass," 20 Nov. 2018 The Redskins believe Smith will bring another element to their offense because of his ability to improvise. Mike Jones, USA TODAY, "As Alex Smith races to get up to speed, Redskins hope QB will help them find new gear," 31 May 2018 Pence is not one to improvise his remarks, making the pronouncement all the more troubling for the North Koreans. Brian Bennett, Time, "President Trump Canceled the North Korea Summit to Get the Upper Hand," 24 May 2018 The Haunted Island: a Frog Detective Game is a first person adventure set in a strange world of penguin supervisors, ghost scientists, the importance of daily dental care, and improvised explosives made from pasta. Michael Moore, The Verge, "The Haunted Island: a Frog Detective Game is a farcical tale of ghosts, vacations to Indonesia, and overzealous dental care," 23 Dec. 2018 There was the time when faulty sensors prevented Hadfield’s space capsule from docking with Mir, forcing him to improvise a way in. NBC News, "Why astronaut Chris Hadfield isn't afraid of death," 4 July 2018

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

1788, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for improvise

French improviser, from Italian improvvisare, from improvviso sudden, from Latin improvisus, literally, unforeseen, from in- + provisus, past participle of providēre to see ahead — more at provide

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Statistics for improvise

Last Updated

10 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for improvise

The first known use of improvise was in 1788

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More Definitions for improvise

improvise

verb

English Language Learners Definition of improvise

: to speak or perform without preparation
: to make or create (something) by using whatever is available

improvise

verb
im·​pro·​vise | \ ˈim-prə-ˌvīz How to pronounce improvise (audio) \
improvised; improvising

Kids Definition of improvise

1 : to speak or perform without preparing ahead of time I improvised a song on the spot.
2 : to make, invent, or arrange by using whatever is available … Cluny sat beneath an awning that had been improvised from the damaged tent.— Brian Jacques, Redwall

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