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or (especially British) extemporise

[ik-stem-puh-rahyz] /ɪkˈstɛm pəˌraɪz/
verb (used without object), extemporized, extemporizing.
to speak extemporaneously:
He can extemporize on any of a number of subjects.
to sing, or play on an instrument, composing the music as one proceeds; improvise.
to do or manage something in a makeshift way.
verb (used with object), extemporized, extemporizing.
to make or devise extempore.
Music. to compose offhand; improvise.
Origin of extemporize
1635-45; extempore + -ize
Related forms
extemporization, noun
extemporizer, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for extemporise
Historical Examples
  • As I crossed the floor I tried to extemporise a prayer, but stopped short to listen, and never finished it.

    J. S. Le Fanu's Ghostly Tales, Volume 1 Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
  • There was no bed from which to take the sheets and blankets to extemporise a rope.

    Charlie to the Rescue R.M. Ballantyne
  • To reach this, it was necessary to extemporise by means of a rope a species of ratlins by which he could climb the rigging.

  • Lots of your fellow-passengers will have to camp out under any shelter they can extemporise.

    Nevermore Rolf Boldrewood
  • But national spirit could not extemporise a fleet or produce trained officers and sailors to match the conquerors of Lepanto.

  • More than this, in one corner still lay some of the wraps which he had evidently used to extemporise a bed.

    The Cock-House at Fellsgarth Talbot Baines Reed
  • The small jelly-speck, which we call the amœba, has no organs save what it can extemporise as occasion arises.

  • He studied much over his lectures; but as to the form, he was wont to extemporise a great deal.

    Caybigan James Hopper
  • In the meantime he seated himself at another piano of ancient aspect, and beginning to extemporise soon became lost in reverie.

    Story-Lives of Great Musicians Francis Jameson Rowbotham
  • One who has made a turnip lantern in his youth will seldom be at a loss to extemporise a shelter for his bit of candle.

British Dictionary definitions for extemporise


to perform, speak, or compose (an act, speech, piece of music, etc) without planning or preparation
to use (a temporary solution) for an immediate need; improvise
Derived Forms
extemporization, extemporisation, noun
extemporizer, extemporiser, noun
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 extemporise



1640s (implied in extemporizing), "to speak ex tempore;" see extempore + -ize. Related: Extemporized.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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