impromptu

Some of the best kinds of parties are impromptu ones, when you decide at the last minute to get together. The adjective impromptu describes things done or said without previous thought or preparation.

Impromptu is also used as an adverb: Most people are not able to speak impromptu in front of an audience. This word was borrowed from French and ultimately derives from the Latin in prōmptū ("at hand, in readiness") from in ("in") plus a form of prōmptus ("readiness"). As you can guess from the spelling, the adjective and verb prompt are related to impromptu; they are from the same Latin verb, prōmere, "to bring forth."

Definitions of impromptu
  1. adjective
    with little or no preparation or forethought
    “an impromptu speech”
    synonyms: ad-lib, extemporaneous, extemporary, extempore, off-the-cuff, offhand, offhanded, unrehearsed
    unprepared
    without preparation; not prepared for
  2. adverb
    without advance preparation
  3. noun
    an extemporaneous speech or remark
    “a witty impromptu must not sound premeditated”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    address, speech
    the act of delivering a formal spoken communication to an audience
  4. noun
    a short musical passage that seems to have been made spontaneously without advance preparation
    see moresee less
    type of:
    musical passage, passage
    a short section of a musical composition
Word Family
EDITOR’S CHOICE

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.

SAT/PSAT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

TOEFL

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

ACT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week