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[im-promp-too, -tyoo] /ɪmˈprɒmp tu, -tyu/
made or done without previous preparation:
an impromptu address to the unexpected crowds.
suddenly or hastily prepared, made, etc.:
an impromptu dinner.
improvised; having the character of an improvisation.
without preparation:
verses written impromptu.
something impromptu; an impromptu speech, musical composition, performance, etc.
a character piece for piano common in the 19th century and having, despite its title, a clear-cut form.
1660-70; < French < Latin in promptū in readiness; see in, prompt
1. See extemporaneous. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for impromptu
  • With the turn of a crank, slowly a big iron door slid back, allowing the chimps access to their impromptu photo studio.
  • Shelly had discovered it one night when the band she belonged to then had played at an impromptu concert there.
  • His detention, by all visible measures, was not impromptu.
  • impromptu picking camps spring up and disband in a matter of weeks, leaving garbage pits and barren land in their wake.
  • One that comes to mind is impromptu dance party in the control room.
  • It's not too late to organize an impromptu party at your house.
  • Moving to impromptu responses can be a challenging transition for many of us.
  • The clamshell set-up is terrific for impromptu seats that are still covered by the cargo door in case of rain or snow.
  • Co- workers know that value emerges from impromptu hallway meetings.
  • Suddenly he launched into an impromptu ten-minute monologue, posing as an endlessly chattering repository of useless information.
British Dictionary definitions for impromptu


unrehearsed; spontaneous; extempore
produced or done without care or planning; improvised
in a spontaneous or improvised way: he spoke impromptu
something that is impromptu
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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Encyclopedia Article for impromptu

a 19th-century piano composition intended to produce the illusion of spontaneous improvisation. In keeping with this fundamental premise, there is no particular form associated with the impromptu, although ternary and rondo schemes are common. The style of the music is similar to that of other compositions of the period, with such designations as fantasie, caprice, and bagatelle.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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