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impromptu

[im-promp-too, -tyoo] /ɪmˈprɒmp tu, -tyu/
adjective
1.
made or done without previous preparation:
an impromptu address to the unexpected crowds.
2.
suddenly or hastily prepared, made, etc.:
an impromptu dinner.
3.
improvised; having the character of an improvisation.
adverb
4.
without preparation:
verses written impromptu.
noun
5.
something impromptu; an impromptu speech, musical composition, performance, etc.
6.
a character piece for piano common in the 19th century and having, despite its title, a clear-cut form.
Origin of impromptu
1660-1670
1660-70; < French < Latin in promptū in readiness; see in, prompt
Synonyms
1. See extemporaneous.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for impromptu
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I used to begin about a week ahead, and write out my impromptu, speech and get it by heart.

    Mark Twain's Speeches Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
  • The speeches were impromptu; the characters and rôles were stereotyped.

    Folkways William Graham Sumner
  • The big sunken meadow on the verge of the Ramapo River was lined on two sides with impromptu sheds.

    Lad: A Dog Albert Payson Terhune
  • I bade him produce them, and invited the stranger to share our impromptu lunch.

    Carmen Prosper Merimee
  • The iron rod is set up in front of the doorway, a wick and oil are placed in the cup, and the impromptu lamp is lighted.

British Dictionary definitions for impromptu

impromptu

/ɪmˈprɒmptjuː/
adjective
1.
unrehearsed; spontaneous; extempore
2.
produced or done without care or planning; improvised
adverb
3.
in a spontaneous or improvised way: he spoke impromptu
noun
4.
something that is impromptu
5.
a short piece of instrumental music, sometimes improvisatory in character
Word Origin
C17: from French, from Latin in promptū in readiness, from promptus (adj) ready, prompt
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 impromptu

1660s (adv.), 1764 (adj.), from French impromptu (1650s), from Latin in promptu "in readiness," from assimilated form of in- "into, in, on, upon" (see in- (2)) + promptu, ablative of promptus "readiness," from past participle of promere "to bring out," from pro- "before, forward, for" + emere "to obtain" (see exempt).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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