1 : composed, performed, or uttered on the spur of the moment : impromptu
Did You Know?
Extemporaneous, which comes from Latin ex tempore ("out of the time"), joined the English language sometime in the mid-17th century. The word impromptu was improvised soon after that. In general usage, extemporaneous and impromptu are used interchangeably to describe off-the-cuff remarks or speeches, but this is not the case when they are used in reference to the learned art of public speaking. Teachers of speech will tell you that an extemporaneous speech is one that has been thoroughly prepared and planned but not memorized, whereas an impromptu speech is one for which absolutely no preparations have been made.
Everyone was surprised to hear my normally taciturn brother give a heartfelt, extemporaneous speech at our parents' 50th anniversary party.
"At the last Japanese performance—in Fukui, some 200 miles to the west of Tokyo—audiences were so exuberant that Slatkin and solo pianist Makoto Ozone indulged in an extemporaneous duet." — Michael H. Hodges, The Detroit News, 26 July 2017
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Name That Synonym
Unscramble the letters to create a synonym of extemporaneous meaning "makeshift": CLAEJGK.VIEW THE ANSWER
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