[ spon-tey-nee-uhs ]
/ spɒnˈteɪ ni əs /


coming or resulting from a natural impulse or tendency; without effort or premeditation; natural and unconstrained; unplanned: a spontaneous burst of applause.
(of a person) given to acting upon sudden impulses.
(of natural phenomena) arising from internal forces or causes; independent of external agencies; self-acting.
growing naturally or without cultivation, as plants and fruits; indigenous.
produced by natural process.

Origin of spontaneous

1650–60; < Late Latin spontāneus, equivalent to Latin spont(e) willingly + -āneus (-ān(us) -an + -eus -eous)

SYNONYMS FOR spontaneous

ANTONYMS FOR spontaneous

OTHER WORDS FROM spontaneous

synonym study for spontaneous

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for subspontaneous

  • Many floras of the south of Europe speak of it as a subspontaneous or naturalized species.

    Origin of Cultivated Plants|Alphonse De Candolle
  • Authors who have seen the species in the East do not hesitate to say that it is subspontaneous.

    Origin of Cultivated Plants|Alphonse De Candolle
  • Usually they indicate the carob tree, as cultivated and subspontaneous, or nearly wild.

    Origin of Cultivated Plants|Alphonse De Candolle

British Dictionary definitions for subspontaneous (1 of 2)

/ (ˌsʌbspɒnˈteɪnɪəs) /


(of a plant species, such as rhododendron) spreading naturally after having originally been introduced

British Dictionary definitions for subspontaneous (2 of 2)

/ (spɒnˈteɪnɪəs) /


occurring, produced, or performed through natural processes without external influencespontaneous movement
arising from an unforced personal impulse; voluntary; unpremeditateda spontaneous comment
(of plants) growing naturally; indigenous

Derived forms of spontaneous

spontaneously, 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