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extemporize

To extemporize is to improvise, especially without preparation. When you extemporize, you’re making it up as you go along.

In some situations, you’re prepared and know exactly what you’re going to do. In others, you have to extemporize. A stand-up comedian who makes up jokes on the spot is extemporizing. If a football play breaks down, the quarterback has to scramble and extemporize by coming up with a new play. A public speaker who throws away notes and takes questions is extemporizing. Jazz musicians often extemporize. When you extemporize, even you’re not sure what you might end up doing.

Definitions of extemporize
  1. verb
    perform without preparation
    “he extemporized a speech at the wedding”
    synonyms: ad-lib, extemporise, improvise, improvize
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    type of:
    do, execute, perform
    carry out or perform an action
  2. verb
    manage in a makeshift way; make do with whatever is at hand
    synonyms: improvise
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    type of:
    contend, cope, deal, get by, grapple, make do, make out, manage
    come to terms with
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