A Word A Day : Impromptu

Monday, 10th September 2007 : Today's Word is ...


( Adjective )

Pronunciation : im-promp'tu

1. Prompted by the occasion rather than being planned in advance

2. Spoken, performed, done or composed with little or no preparation

3. Spoken, performed, or composed with little or no preparation or forethought

4. A few unrehearsed comments

5. Trying to sound offhanded and reassuring


French, from Latin in promptu, at hand : in prōmptū, ablative of promptus, readiness, from past participle of promere, to bring forth


1. Ad-Lib

2. Extemporaneous

3. Extemporary

4. Extempore

5. Improvised

6. Offhand

7. Snap

8. Spur-Of-The-Moment

9. Unrehearsed

10. Off-The-Cuff

11. Unprepared


1. Deliberate

2. Designed

3. Planned

4. Premeditated

5. Prepared

6. Rehearsed

Contextual Example:

• It takes more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech.

• He is famous for writing that kind of impromptu descriptive verse which the Chinese call Ying.

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