Definition of spontaneous
- spontaneous movement characteristic of living things
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The comment was completely spontaneous.
He's a guy who's spontaneous and fun.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'spontaneous.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Spontaneous derives, via the Late Latin spontaneus, from the Latin sponte, meaning "of one's free will, voluntarily," and first appeared in English in the mid-17th century. Thomas Hobbes was an early adopter: he wrote that "all voluntary actions … are called also spontaneous, and said to be done by man's own accord" in his famous 1656 The Questions Concerning Liberty, Necessity, and Chance. Today the word is more often applied to things done or said in a natural and often sudden way, without a lot of thought or planning—or to people who do or say things in such a way.
ad-lib, extemporaneous, extempore, impromptu, improvised, offhand, offhanded, off-the-cuff, snap, spur-of-the-moment, unconsidered, unplanned, unpremeditated, unprepared, unprompted, unreasoned, unrehearsed, unstudied;
: done or said in a natural and often sudden way and without a lot of thought or planning
: doing things that have not been planned but that seem enjoyable and worth doing at a particular time
What made you want to look up spontaneous? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
to grant as a privilege or special favor
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