verb (used with object), ad-libbed, ad-lib·bing.
to improvise all or part of (a speech, a piece of music, etc.): to ad-lib one's lines.
verb (used without object), ad-libbed, ad-lib·bing.
to act, speak, etc., without preparation: Throughout the play he had to ad-lib constantly.
impromptu; extemporaneous: ad-lib remarks to hecklers.
Origin of ad-lib
1915–20, AmericanismRelated formsad-lib·ber, noun
; v. use of ad lib
something improvised in speech, music, etc.: Was that joke part of your speech or an ad lib?
at one's pleasure; without restriction.
freely; as needed; without stint: Water can be given to the patients ad lib.
Origin of ad lib
First recorded in 1810–20;
see origin at ad libitum
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Related Words for ad-libimprovise
Examples from the Web for ad-lib
Contemporary Examples of ad-lib
British Dictionary definitions for ad-lib
verb -libs, -libbing or -libbed
to improvise and deliver without preparation (a speech, musical performance, etc)
adjective (ad lib when predicative)
adverb ad lib
without restraint; freely
Derived Formsad-libber, noun
an improvised performance, often humorous
Word Origin for ad-lib
C18: short for Latin ad libitum, literally: according to pleasure
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for ad-lib
1811, shortened from Latin ad libitum "at one's pleasure, as much as one likes" (c.1600), from libere "to please" (see libido). First recorded as one word 1919 (v.), 1925 (n.).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
ad libitum (freely, as desired)
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.