9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[im-prov-uh-zey-shuh n, im-pruh-vuh-] /ɪmˌprɒv əˈzeɪ ʃən, ˌɪm prə və-/
the art or act of improvising, or of composing, uttering, executing, or arranging anything without previous preparation:
Musical improvisation involves imagination and creativity.
something improvised:
The actor's improvisation in Act II was both unexpected and amazing.
Origin of improvisation
1780-90; improvise + -ation
Related forms
improvisational, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for improvisation
  • And his years onstage, a lifetime of improvisation, mean his stump speech keeps getting better.
  • He saves the empty backgrounds for expressionistic improvisation in glowing pastel pinks, powder blues and pale yellows.
  • Distortions in the economy are being aggravated by the expansionary fiscal stance and policy improvisation.
  • Every time you do it, it gives you some surprise element, because there's improvisation involved with it.
  • If the improvisation involves alcohol and fire, so much the better.
  • The rest of the recording doesn't always reach that tune's high level of improvisation.
  • If we're honest with ourselves and with each other, we'd admit it is all improvisation.
  • Setting up a tribunal there was a matter of improvisation or making do.
  • The festival features dance and musical performances, hands-on art activities, improvisation and movement sessions.
  • It's all about creativity, all about improvisation rather than mastery.
British Dictionary definitions for improvisation


the act or an instance of improvising
a product of improvising; something improvised
Derived Forms
improvisational, improvisatory (ˌɪmprəˈvaɪzətərɪ; -ˈvɪz-; ˌɪmprəvaɪˈzeɪtərɪ; -trɪ) adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for improvisation

mid-15c., "unforeseen happening;" 1786 as "act of improvising musically," from French improvisation, from improviser "compose or say extemporaneously," from Italian improvvisare, from improvviso "unforeseen, unprepared," from Latin improvisus "not foreseen, unforeseen, unexpected," from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + provisus "foreseen," also "provided," past participle of providere "foresee, provide" (see provide).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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