Extemporaneous is a word that has been in use since the mid-1600s. We will examine the meaning of the word extemporaneous, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

Extemporaneous describes a speech or performance that is executed without preparation or rehearsal. Extemporaneous means to execute something on the fly, to improvise something. Someone who can speak in an extemporaneous fashion is able to address a crowd without warning or preparation. It is considered a talent, as public speaking is the most common fear among people. Extemporaneous is an adjective, related words are extemporaneously, extemporaneousness, extempore. The word extemporaneous is derived from the Latin ex tempore, from ex meaning out of and tempus meaning time.


With but 30 minutes to prepare a seven-minute speech — and use of the internet prohibited — Extemporaneous Speaking requires students to be quick on their feet, with a broad knowledge of a variety of current events. (The Pueblo Chieftain)

Senior Sevier Gomez, who qualified in public forum debate, domestic extemporaneous speaking and foreign extemporaneous speaking, said he is developing arguments against his own case to prepare for the possible counter arguments that could come from his opponents. (The Owasso Reporter)

But what really explains the students’ poise, said Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie, is the school district’s system-wide debate program that teaches extemporaneous speaking from an early age. (The Miami Herald)

The speech had the feel of a campaign rally, especially after Trump declared that his prepared remarks were “a little boring” and indicated that he would be speaking extemporaneously. (Newsweek Magazine)

However, there are other special moments such as when Marvin Gaye sits at the piano playing extemporaneously as he talks about the history of black music before doing an emotional rendition of “What’s Going On.” (The Los Angeles Times)

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