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From Late Latin extemporāneus, from Latin ex tempore (impromptu).


  • (Canada) IPA(key): /əksˌtɛmpɚˈeɪni.əs/
  • (UK) IPA(key): /ɛksˌtɛm.pɜː(ɹ)ˈeɪn.i.əs/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -eɪniəs


extemporaneous (comparative more extemporaneous, superlative most extemporaneous)

  1. With inadequate preparation or without advance thought; offhand.
    Synonyms: off-the-cuff, (archaic) extemporal, improvised; see also Thesaurus:impromptu
    • 1855, Frederick Douglass, My Bondage and My Freedom. [], New York, Auburn, N.Y.: Miller, Orton & Mulligan [], →OCLC:
      My speeches in Great Britain were wholly extemporaneous, and I may not always have been so guarded in my expressions, as I otherwise should have been. I was ten years younger then than now, and only seven years from slavery.
    • 1920 April, F[rancis] Scott Fitzgerald, “Young Irony”, in This Side of Paradise, New York, N.Y.: Charles Scribner’s Sons, →OCLC, book II (The Education of a Personage), page 241:
      “Who the devil is there in Ramilly County,” muttered Amory aloud, “who would deliver Verlaine in an extemporaneous tune to a soaking haystack?”
    • 2017 March 1, The Lead with Jake Tapper[1], spoken by Jake Tapper, via CNN:
      The lovely words of a prepared speech, however, cannot erase extemporaneous words and deeds, thousands of them, that have run contrary to those aspirations.

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