[ spon-tuh-nee-i-tee, -ney- ]
/ ˌspɒn təˈni ɪ ti, -ˈneɪ- /
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noun, plural spon·ta·ne·i·ties.
the state, quality, or fact of being spontaneous.
spontaneous activity.
spontaneities, spontaneous impulses, movements, or actions.
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Origin of spontaneity

1645–55; <Late Latin spontāne(us) spontaneous + -ity
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does spontaneity mean?

Spontaneity is the state or quality of being spontaneous—happening naturally and without being planned.

When you describe an action or event as spontaneous, it means it happened naturally, without having been planned, as in The meeting turned into a spontaneous dance party. Spontaneity can also refer to this kind of spontaneous activity.

When something that someone does is described as spontaneous, it means it was done out of a natural impulse, without having been thought about beforehand

When spontaneous is used to describe a person, it means they have a tendency to or are known for doing things impulsively and without planning. This is usually used in a positive way to portray them as a fun person who is adventurous and willing to do things on the spur of the moment. Telling someone to be more spontaneous or introduce more spontaneity into their life means you want them to be more flexible and willing to do more things on a whim instead of needing for things to be completely structured or scheduled.

Example: I feel stuck in a routine—I need more spontaneity in my life.

Where does spontaneity come from?

The first records of the word spontaneity come from the mid-1600s. It comes from the Late Latin word spontāneus, which is related to the Latin spont(e), meaning “willingly” or “voluntarily.” The suffix -ity indicates a state or condition and is used to form nouns.

When you describe someone as spontaneous, it implies that they’re “up for anything”—they’re willing to try something new at a moment’s notice (without needing to plan or prepare for it). Spontaneity is the state of having this willingness. Telling someone who’s going on vacation to “plan for spontaneity” sounds like an oxymoron (a contradiction in terms), but it really just means that they should reserve some time that is not planned out, when they can choose to do whatever you want.

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What are some other forms related to spontaneity?

What are some synonyms for spontaneity?

  • spontaneousness

What are some words that share a root or word element with spontaneity

What are some words that often get used in discussing spontaneity?

How is spontaneity used in real life?

Spontaneity is most commonly used in a positive way to refer to a flexibility to do fun and adventurous things.


Try using spontaneity!

Is spontaneity used correctly in the following sentence?

One of the reasons I love spontaneity is because it makes things very structured and predictable.

How to use spontaneity in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for spontaneity

/ (ˌspɒntəˈniːɪtɪ, -ˈneɪ-) /

noun plural -ties
the state or quality of being spontaneous
(often plural) the exhibiting of actions, impulses, or behaviour that are stimulated by internal processes
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