Synonyms & Antonyms of spontaneous

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About spontaneous

How is the word spontaneous distinct from other similar adjectives?

Some common synonyms of spontaneous are automatic, impulsive, instinctive, and mechanical. While all these words mean "acting or activated without deliberation," spontaneous implies lack of prompting and connotes naturalness.

a spontaneous burst of applause

In what contexts can automatic take the place of spontaneous?

The meanings of automatic and spontaneous largely overlap; however, automatic implies action engaging neither the mind nor the emotions and connotes a predictable response.

his denial was automatic

When is it sensible to use impulsive instead of spontaneous?

In some situations, the words impulsive and spontaneous are roughly equivalent. However, impulsive implies acting under stress of emotion or spirit of the moment.

impulsive acts of violence

When could instinctive be used to replace spontaneous?

The synonyms instinctive and spontaneous are sometimes interchangeable, but instinctive stresses action involving neither judgment nor will.

blinking is an instinctive reaction

Where would mechanical be a reasonable alternative to spontaneous?

The words mechanical and spontaneous are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, mechanical stresses the lifeless, often perfunctory character of the response.

a mechanical teaching method

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about spontaneous

Time Traveler for spontaneous

Time Traveler

The first known use of spontaneous was in 1653

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast about spontaneous

Cite this Entry

“Spontaneous.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Oct. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on spontaneous

Dictionary: Definition of spontaneous

Medical Dictionary: Definition of spontaneous

Nglish: Translation of spontaneous for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of spontaneous for Arabic Speakers

Comments on spontaneous

What made you want to look up spontaneous? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!