made or said without previous preparation: an improvised skit.

Origin of improvised

First recorded in 1830–40; improvise + -ed2
Related formsim·pro·vis·ed·ly [im-pruh-vahy-zid-lee] /ˌɪm prəˈvaɪ zɪd li/, adverbun·im·pro·vised, adjectivewell-im·pro·vised, adjective

Synonyms for improvised

Antonyms for improvised




verb (used with object), im·pro·vised, im·pro·vis·ing.

to compose and perform or deliver without previous preparation; extemporize: to improvise an acceptance speech.
to compose, play, recite, or sing (verse, music, etc.) on the spur of the moment.
to make, provide, or arrange from whatever materials are readily available: We improvised a dinner from yesterday's leftovers.

verb (used without object), im·pro·vised, im·pro·vis·ing.

to compose, utter, execute, or arrange anything extemporaneously: When the actor forgot his lines he had to improvise.

Origin of improvise

1820–30; < French improviser, or its source, Italian improvisare (later improvvisare), verbal derivative of improviso improvised < Latin imprōvīsus, equivalent to im- im-2 + prōvīsus past participle of prōvidēre to see beforehand, prepare, provide for (a future circumstance). See proviso
Related formsim·pro·vis·er, im·pro·vi·sor, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for improvised

Contemporary Examples of improvised

Historical Examples of improvised

  • He assisted the Leopard Woman to this improvised couch and laid her upon it.

    The Leopard Woman

    Stewart Edward White

  • He realized then his fortune in finding this improvised cave-house.

    The Rock of Chickamauga

    Joseph A. Altsheler

  • Rossini improvised the most delightful harmony, which filled me with emotion.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • An improvised litter was just being borne along by two workmen.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • Goliah, who could not stir a finger, bent his eyes on his improvised defender.

    The Downfall

    Emile Zola

British Dictionary definitions for improvised



to perform or make quickly from materials and sources available, without previous planning
to perform (a poem, play, piece of music, etc), composing as one goes along
Derived Formsimproviser, noun

Word Origin for improvise

C19: from French, from Italian improvvisare, from Latin imprōvīsus unforeseen, from im- (not) + prōvīsus, from prōvidēre to foresee; see provide
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 improvised



1826, back-formation from improvisation, or else from French improviser (17c.), from Italian improvisare "to sing or speak extempore," from improviso, from Latin improvisus "unforeseen, unexpected" (see improvisation). Or possibly a back-formation from improvisation. Related: Improvised; improvising.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper