Definition of impromptu in English:


adjective & adverb

  • Done without being planned or rehearsed.

    [as adjective] ‘an impromptu press conference’
    [as adverb] ‘he spoke impromptu’
    • ‘Some members remained in town after the parade and gave impromptu performances.’
    • ‘I got a phone call announcing impromptu dinner plans, so I decided to join in on that.’
    • ‘In just those few days they had built a complex, many-layered, fully functioning but impromptu nest!’
    • ‘In addition, he has ready money for policemen that make impromptu inspection along the way.’
    • ‘Passengers told how they used mobile phones and novelty glowsticks as impromptu torches to guide them to safety.’
    • ‘Buoyed by the success of the day, we now plan to hold an impromptu New Year's eve bash here.’
    • ‘After dinner, all six convene in Seward's study for an impromptu strategy session.’
    • ‘Footballs were retrieved from among the luggage and impromptu games began.’
    • ‘While the tea brewed, he searched his mind for a reason for this impromptu visit.’
    • ‘Some enterprising vendors have put up impromptu juice stalls selling watermelon juice.’
    • ‘They chanted their support as they were often ordered to do and kissed his hand as he made impromptu stops along the street.’
    • ‘I had no idea how well my impromptu plan would work, but it was the best I could come up with.’
    • ‘Sure enough, there are bedrooms and a kitchen and even a drum set up in the entrance for impromptu rehearsals.’
    • ‘And Paul went into an impromptu rendition of " Aint no sunshine".’
    • ‘He added that when he was the director general he used to make impromptu visits to the penitentiaries at night.’
    • ‘This makes us conveniently close enough for impromptu dinner party invitations.’
    • ‘Now and then, there was a bit of impromptu dancing by some of the team members.’
    • ‘Click here to see the pictures from yesterday's impromptu outing to the zoo.’
    • ‘The event will also feature street theatre, live music and arts and craft stalls and nurses will be carrying out impromptu health checks.’
    extempore, spontaneously, without preparation, without rehearsal, on the spur of the moment, offhand, ad lib
    ad libitum
    off the cuff, off the top of one's head
    unrehearsed, unprepared, unscripted, extempore, extemporized, improvised, improvisational, improvisatory, improvisatorial, spontaneous, unstudied, unpremeditated, unarranged, unplanned, on the spot, snap, ad lib
    ad hoc, thrown together, cobbled together, rough and ready
    ad libitum
    off-the-cuff, spur-of-the-moment
    View synonyms


  • A short piece of instrumental music, especially a solo, that is reminiscent of an improvisation.


Mid 17th century (as an adverb): from French, from Latin in promptu in readiness, from promptus (see prompt).