extempore, impromptu

 Although both words describe unrehearsed remarks or performances, their meanings are slightly different in that impromptu can apply only to acts that are improvised at the time of performance, whereas extempore suggests only that the actions were undertaken without the benefit of notes or other formal props. Impromptu, in other words, conveys a greater element of surprise on the part of the speaker or performer.

Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors. 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • extempore, impromptu —    Although both words describe unrehearsed remarks or performances, their meanings are slightly different, in that impromptu can apply only to acts that are improvised at the time of performance, whereas extempore suggests only that the actions… …   Dictionary of troublesome word

  • Impromptu — Im*promp tu, adv. or a. [F. impromptu, fr. L. in promptu in readiness, at hand; in in + promptus visibility, readiness, from promptus visible, ready. See {Prompt}.] Offhand; without previous study; extemporaneous; extempore; as, an impromptu… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • impromptu — [im prämp′to͞o΄] adj., adv. [Fr < L in promptu, in readiness < in, in + promptu, abl. of promptus, readiness < promptus, brought out, ready, PROMPT] without preparation or advance thought; offhand n. an impromptu speech, performance, etc …   English World dictionary

  • extempore — [ek stem′pə rē, ikstem′pə rē] adv., adj. [L, lit., out of the time < ex , from, out of + tempore, abl. of tempus, time: see TEMPER] without preparation; offhand [a speech given extempore] SYN. IMPROMPTU …   English World dictionary

  • extempore — pronounced as four syllables, means ‘spoken or done without preparation’, and can be used as an adverb or an adjective. It is preferable to the cumbersome alternatives extemporaneous(ly) and extemporary / extemporarily. Impromptu, which is over… …   Modern English usage

  • Impromptu — Im*promp tu, n. 1. Something made or done offhand, at the moment, or without previous study; an extemporaneous composition, address, or remark. [1913 Webster] 2. (Mus.) A piece composed or played at first thought; a composition in the style of an …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • impromptu — unpremeditated, offhand, improvised, *extemporaneous, extempore, extemporary Analogous words: *spontaneous, impulsive: ready, prompt, *quick, apt Contrasted words: considered, premeditated, *deliberate, studied, designed, advised: finished, * …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • impromptu — as a noun meaning ‘an extempore speech or performance’ or ‘a short piece of instrumental music’, has the plural form impromptus …   Modern English usage

  • impromptu — [adj/adv] unrehearsed, improvised ad lib*, dashed off, extemporaneous, extempore, extemporized, fake, faked, improv*, improviso, offhand, off the cuff*, played by ear*, shot from the hip*, spontaneous, spur of the moment, thrown off*, tossed off* …   New thesaurus

  • impromptu — I (New American Roget s College Thesaurus) adj. extemporaneous. See unpreparedness. Ant., studied, prepared. II (Roget s IV) modif. Syn. extemporaneous, extemporary, extempore, improvised, unprepared, offhand; see also extemporaneous . Syn.… …   English dictionary for students

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