improvise

verb im·pro·vise \ ˈim-prə-ˌvīz also ˌim-prə-ˈvīz \

Definition of improvise

improvised; improvising
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

improviser

or improvisor play \ˈim-prə-ˌvī-zər, ˌim-prə-ˈvī-\ noun

Examples of improvise in a Sentence

  1. If you forget any of your lines, try to improvise.

  2. Good jazz musicians know how to improvise.

  3. He had to improvise his opening speech when he forgot his notes.

  4. The trumpet player performed an improvised solo.

  5. I wasn't expecting guests, so I had to improvise a meal with what I had in my refrigerator.

Recent Examples of improvise from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of 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

improvise Synonyms

Synonyms
ad-lib, clap (together or up), extemporize, fake
Related Words
concoct, contrive, cook (up), devise, fabricate, hatch, invent, make up, manufacture, think (up); cobble (together or up), dash (off)
Near Antonyms
arrange, lay, prepare, ready; consider, contemplate, ponder, study; exercise, practice (also practise), rehearse

Other Performing Arts Terms


IMPROVISE Defined for English Language Learners

improvise

verb

Definition of improvise for English Language Learners

  • : to speak or perform without preparation

  • : to make or create (something) by using whatever is available


IMPROVISE Defined for Kids

improvise

verb im·pro·vise \ ˈim-prə-ˌvīz \

Definition of improvise for Students

improvised; improvising
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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