verb (used without object), ex·tem·po·rized, ex·tem·po·riz·ing.

to speak extemporaneously: He can extemporize on any of a number of subjects.
to sing, or play on an instrument, composing the music as one proceeds; improvise.
to do or manage something in a makeshift way.

verb (used with object), ex·tem·po·rized, ex·tem·po·riz·ing.

to make or devise extempore.
Music. to compose offhand; improvise.

Also especially British, ex·tem·po·rise.

Origin of extemporize

First recorded in 1635–45; extempore + -ize
Related formsex·tem·po·ri·za·tion, nounex·tem·po·riz·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for extemporise

Historical Examples of extemporise

  • There was no bed from which to take the sheets and blankets to extemporise a rope.

    Charlie to the Rescue

    R.M. Ballantyne

  • As I crossed the floor I tried to extemporise a prayer, but stopped short to listen, and never finished it.

  • Lots of your fellow-passengers will have to camp out under any shelter they can extemporise.


    Rolf Boldrewood

  • But national spirit could not extemporise a fleet or produce trained officers and sailors to match the conquerors of Lepanto.

  • More than this, in one corner still lay some of the wraps which he had evidently used to extemporise a bed.

British Dictionary definitions for extemporise




to perform, speak, or compose (an act, speech, piece of music, etc) without planning or preparation
to use (a temporary solution) for an immediate need; improvise
Derived Formsextemporization or extemporisation, nounextemporizer or extemporiser, 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 extemporise



1640s (implied in extemporizing), "to speak ex tempore;" see extempore + -ize. Related: Extemporized.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper