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See more synonyms for extemporaneous on Thesaurus.com
  1. done, spoken, performed, etc., without special advance preparation; impromptu: an extemporaneous speech.
  2. previously planned but delivered with the help of few or no notes: extemporaneous lectures.
  3. speaking or performing with little or no advance preparation: extemporaneous actors.
  4. made for the occasion, as a shelter.
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Origin of extemporaneous

First recorded in 1650–60, extemporaneous is from the Late Latin word extemporāneus on the spur of the moment. See extempore, -an, -eous
Related formsex·tem·po·ra·ne·ous·ly, adverbex·tem·po·ra·ne·ous·ness, ex·tem·po·ra·ne·i·ty [ik-stem-puh-ruh-nee-i-tee] /ɪkˌstɛm pə rəˈni ɪ ti/, noun


See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
1, 2. Extemporaneous ( extempore ), impromptu, improvised are used of expression given without preparation or only partial preparation. Extemporaneous and impromptu may both refer to speeches given without any preparation: an extemporaneous ( impromptu ) speech. Extemporaneous may also refer to a speech given from notes or an outline: extemporaneous lectures. Impromptu also refers to poems, songs, etc., delivered without preparation and at a moment's notice. Improvised is applied to something composed (recited, sung, acted), at least in part, as one goes along: an improvised piano accompaniment.


1. memorized.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for extemporaneous

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Ever try to tear off a lot of extemporaneous lies, twenty to the minute?

    Shorty McCabe

    Sewell Ford

  • This is according to the experience of all extemporaneous speakers.

  • It was an extemporaneous prayer; but it lacked no detail on that account.

    The Brentons

    Anna Chapin Ray

  • There was no fear of the extemporaneous, of variety spicing her infinite custom.

  • How does the impromptu remark often differ from the extemporaneous?

    English Synonyms and Antonyms

    James Champlin Fernald

British Dictionary definitions for extemporaneous


extemporary (ɪkˈstɛmpərərɪ, -prərɪ)

  1. spoken, performed, etc, without planning or preparation; impromptu; extempore
  2. done in a temporary manner; improvised
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Derived Formsextemporaneously or extemporarily, adverbextemporaneousness or extemporariness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for extemporaneous


1650s (earlier extemporal, 1560s), from Medieval Latin extemporaneus, from Latin ex tempore (see extempore). Related: Extemporaneously.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper