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[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.
Also, especially British, extemporise.
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 extemporize
Historical Examples
  • My saddle, a hunting one, could not be kept in place, and we had to extemporize a breast-plate with string.

    At the Court of the Amr John Alfred Gray
  • He could not read or write, but he was wise, And knew right smart how to extemporize.

  • And we had to extemporize such quarters as best we could, while staying at Middletown.

  • They could extemporize board and men, but how to raise the bits of ivory?

    Bits of Blarney R. Shelton Mackenzie
  • The class will now find it quite easy to extemporize the whole of a four-bar phrase.

    Music As A Language Ethel Home
  • If you extemporize you can get much closer to your audience.

    The Art of Public Speaking Dale Carnagey (AKA Dale Carnegie) and J. Berg Esenwein
  • She was like an actor who finds himself on the stage with a half-learned part and without sufficient wit to extemporize.

  • And that night, with such instruments as he could extemporize, he operated.

    The Breaking Point Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • I used to learn the songs by heart and invent and extemporize tunes for them.

    My Boyhood John Burroughs
  • The small jelly-speck, which we call the amœba, has no organs save what it can extemporize as occasion arises.

    Evolution, Old & New Samuel Butler
British Dictionary definitions for extemporize


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 extemporize

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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