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See more synonyms for extempore on Thesaurus.com
  1. on the spur of the moment; without premeditation or preparation; offhand: Questions were asked extempore from the floor.
  2. without notes: to speak extempore.
  3. (of musical performance) by improvisation.
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  1. extemporaneous; impromptu.
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Origin of extempore

1545–55; < Latin: literally, out of the time, at the moment, equivalent to ex out of (see ex-1) + tempore the time (ablative singular of tempus)
Related formsnon·ex·tem·po·re, adverb, adjective


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

Related Words


Examples from the Web for extempore

Historical Examples

  • In his discourses he was neither an extempore preacher, nor did he read.

    A Sketch of the Life of Brig. Gen. Francis Marion

    William Dobein James

  • It was that night Tony's extempore prayer was echoed so earnestly by his aunt.

    Jan and Her Job

    L. Allen Harker

  • All works of art should not be detached, but extempore performances.

    Essays, First Series

    Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • Carpenters were at work converting the library into an extempore theatre.

    Frank Fairlegh

    Frank E. Smedley

  • And now Pastor Tappau began his prayer, extempore, as was the custom.

    Curious, if True

    Elizabeth Gaskell

British Dictionary definitions for extempore


adverb, adjective
  1. without planning or preparation; impromptu
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Word Origin

C16: from Latin ex tempore instantaneously, from ex- 1 out of + tempus time
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 extempore

1550s (adv.), 1630s (n.), from Latin phrase ex tempore "offhand, in accordance with (the needs of) the moment," literally "out of time," from ex "out of" (see ex-) + tempore, ablative of tempus (genitive temporis) "time" (see temporal). Of speaking, strictly "without preparation, without time to prepare," but now often with a sense merely of "without notes or a teleprompter."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper