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Late Latin spontāneus, from Latin sponte (suā) (of one's free will, voluntarily).



spontaneous (comparative more spontaneous, superlative most spontaneous)

  1. Self-generated; happening without any apparent external cause.
    He made a spontaneous offer of help.
  2. Done by one's own free choice, or without planning.
  3. Proceeding from natural feeling or native tendency without external or conscious constraint
  4. Arising from a momentary impulse
  5. Controlled and directed internally; self-active; spontaneous movement characteristic of living things
  6. Produced without being planted or without human cultivation or labor.
    • 1751, Tobias Smollett, The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle, vol. IV, ch. 106:
      [H]e persisted in his design; and, because he would not make his wants known, actually subsisted for several days on hips, haws and sloes, and other spontaneous fruits which he gathered in the woods and fields.
  7. Random.
  8. Sudden, without warning.


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