Children's, Intermediate and Advanced Online English Dictionary & Thesaurus

Comprehensive
Dictionary Suite
Help
Help
Help
 
   
Display options
Show syllables
Show Lookup History
Double-Click Lookup
  Show Spanish support
  Show Word Combinations
 
Pronunciation
Wordsmyth
  Phonics
  IPA
 
Entry formats
Standard
  Classic
 
Lookup History
improvise

im·pro·vise

improvise

 
pronunciation:
Im pr vaIz
parts of speech:
transitive verb, intransitive verb
features:
Word History, Word Explorer, Word Parts
part of speech: transitive verb
inflections: improvised, improvises, improvising
definition 1: to create or provide without preparation or practice, esp. in music, speech, or writing.
She didn't have time to prepare a speech, so she improvised one.He didn't have his music with him, so he just improvised something.
similar words:
ad-lib
definition 2: to construct or compose from whatever materials are available or handy.
We improvised a shelter using fallen branches.
similar words:
contrive, patch, rig
 
part of speech: intransitive verb
definition 1: to meet the needs of the moment by creating, saying, or doing something in a spontaneous, unplanned way.
It was a tough question that she didn't have a ready-made answer for, so she had to improvise.
similar words:
ad-lib, play it by ear
definition 2: to compose new music in the act of playing it.
They start out playing as the music is written, then they improvise.
similar words:
ad-lib
Word History
Improvise comes from improvviso, an Italian word that means "not prepared" or "not known in advance."
Word Explorer
See
  theater
Word Parts
The word improvise contains the following part:
im-2 Latin prefix that means not, without
Show wordsHide wordsMore about this word part:
The prefix im-2 occurs in Latin loanwords. It is an assimilated form of in-2 used before roots beginning with the letter "m," "p," and "b." See in-2.