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spontaneous

[spon-tey-nee-uhs]
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adjective
  1. coming or resulting from a natural impulse or tendency; without effort or premeditation; natural and unconstrained; unplanned: a spontaneous burst of applause.
  2. (of a person) given to acting upon sudden impulses.
  3. (of natural phenomena) arising from internal forces or causes; independent of external agencies; self-acting.
  4. growing naturally or without cultivation, as plants and fruits; indigenous.
  5. produced by natural process.
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Origin of spontaneous

1650–60; < Late Latin spontāneus, equivalent to Latin spont(e) willingly + -āneus (-ān(us) -an + -eus -eous)
Related formsspon·ta·ne·ous·ly, adverbspon·ta·ne·ous·ness, nounnon·spon·ta·ne·ous, adjectivenon·spon·ta·ne·ous·ly, adverbnon·spon·ta·ne·ous·ness, nounsem·i·spon·ta·ne·ous, adjectivesem·i·spon·ta·ne·ous·ly, adverbsem·i·spon·ta·ne·ous·ness, nounsub·spon·ta·ne·ous, adjectivesub·spon·ta·ne·ous·ly, adverbsub·spon·ta·ne·ous·ness, nounun·spon·ta·ne·ous, adjectiveun·spon·ta·ne·ous·ly, adverbun·spon·ta·ne·ous·ness, noun

Synonyms for spontaneous

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Antonyms for spontaneous

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


Examples from the Web for spontaneous

Contemporary Examples of spontaneous

Historical Examples of spontaneous

  • At her spontaneous act of welcome a light came into his eyes.

    Viviette

    William J. Locke

  • It cannot be loving and spontaneous unless there is a natural impulse behind it.

  • One of her most spontaneous laughs bubbled up in her throat.

    Her Father's Daughter

    Gene Stratton-Porter

  • There was no question but that it was for Martin she sparkled, sweet and spontaneous as she was.

    Dust

    Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius

  • Remember what we said a little while ago, about fancy and spontaneous affections.


British Dictionary definitions for spontaneous

spontaneous

adjective
  1. occurring, produced, or performed through natural processes without external influencespontaneous movement
  2. arising from an unforced personal impulse; voluntary; unpremeditateda spontaneous comment
  3. (of plants) growing naturally; indigenous
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Derived Formsspontaneously, adverbspontaneousness, noun

Word Origin for spontaneous

C17: from Late Latin spontāneus, from Latin sponte voluntarily
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 spontaneous

adj.

1650s, from Late Latin spontaneus "willing, of one's free will," from Latin (sua) sponte "of one's own accord, willingly;" of unknown origin. Related: Spontaneously. Earliest use is of persons and characters. Spontaneous combustion first attested 1795. Spontaneous generation (the phrase, not the event) attested from 1650s.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper