[im-promp-too, -tyoo]


made or done without previous preparation: an impromptu address to the unexpected crowds.
suddenly or hastily prepared, made, etc.: an impromptu dinner.
improvised; having the character of an improvisation.


without preparation: verses written impromptu.


something impromptu; an impromptu speech, musical composition, performance, etc.
a character piece for piano common in the 19th century and having, despite its title, a clear-cut form.

Origin of impromptu

1660–70; < French < Latin in promptū in readiness; see in, prompt

Synonyms for impromptu Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for impromptu

Contemporary Examples of impromptu

Historical Examples of impromptu

British Dictionary definitions for impromptu



unrehearsed; spontaneous; extempore
produced or done without care or planning; improvised


in a spontaneous or improvised wayhe spoke impromptu


something that is impromptu
a short piece of instrumental music, sometimes improvisatory in character

Word Origin for impromptu

C17: from French, from Latin in promptū in readiness, from promptus (adj) ready, prompt
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 impromptu

1660s (adv.), 1764 (adj.), from French impromptu (1650s), from Latin in promptu "in readiness," from assimilated form of in- "into, in, on, upon" (see in- (2)) + promptu, ablative of promptus "readiness," from past participle of promere "to bring out," from pro- "before, forward, for" + emere "to obtain" (see exempt).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper