• WordNet 3.6
    • v improvise perform without preparation "he extemporized a speech at the wedding"
    • v improvise manage in a makeshift way; do with whatever is at hand "after the hurricane destroyed our house, we had to improvise for weeks"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Mayonnaise is said to be the invention of the French chef of the Duke de Richelieu in 1756. While the Duke was defeating the British at Port Mahon, his chef was creating a victory feast that included a sauce made of cream and eggs. When the chef realized that there was no cream in the kitchen, he improvised, substituting olive oil for the cream. A new culinary masterpiece was born, and the chef named it "Mahonnaise" in honor of the Duke's victory.
    • Improvise To bring about, arrange, do, or make, immediately or on short notice, without previous preparation and with no known precedent as a guide. "Charles attempted to improvise a peace."
    • Improvise To compose, recite, or sing extemporaneously, especially in verse; to extemporize; also, to play upon an instrument, or to act, extemporaneously.
    • Improvise To invent, or provide, offhand, or on the spur of the moment; as, he improvised a hammer out of a stone.
    • v. i Improvise To produce or render extemporaneous compositions, especially in verse or in music, without previous preparation; hence, to do anything offhand.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Jazz began in the 20th century, when bands in New Orleans began to apply the syncopated rhythms of ragtime to a variety of other tunes. In the first days of jazz, ensemble playing was emphasized. Only gradually did jazz come to be based on improvised solos.
    • improvise To compose and recite or sing without premeditation; speak or perform extemporaneously, especially verse or music.
    • improvise To do or perform anything on the spur of the moment for a special occasion; contrive or bring about in an offhand way.
    • improvise To compose verses or music extemporaneously; hence, to do anything on the spur of the moment or in an offhand way.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.t Improvise im-pro-vīz′ to compose and recite, esp. in verse, without preparation: to bring about on a sudden: to do anything off-hand
    • ***


  • Walter Benjamin
    “These are days when no one should rely unduly on his competence. Strength lies in improvisation. All the decisive blows are struck left-handed.”
  • Carson Mccullers
    Carson Mccullers
    “There's nothing that makes you so aware of the improvisation of human existence as a song unfinished. Or an old address book.”
  • Camille Paglia
    “Jesus was a brilliant Jewish stand-up comedian, a phenomenal improviser. His parables are great one-liners.”
  • Source Unknown
    Source Unknown
    “Organization is the enemy of improvisation.”
  • Paul Simon
    Paul Simon
    “Improvisation is too good to leave to chance.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. improviser, it. improvvisare, fr. improvviso, unprovided, sudden, extempore, L. improvisus,; pref. im-, not + provisus, foreseen, provided. See Proviso
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr. improviser—L. in, not, provisus, foreseen.


In literature:

A modern navy can not be improvised.
"U.S. Presidential Inaugural Addresses" by Various
Sikorski tells a story of the lad's improvising in church so that the priest, choir and congregation were forgotten by him.
"Chopin: The Man and His Music" by James Huneker
It is likewise illustrative of Chopin's power and love of improvisation.
"Frederick Chopin as a Man and Musician" by Frederick Niecks
With trembling hands he grasped the improvised rope and slipped out of the window.
"The Rover Boys in New York" by Arthur M. Winfield
Mr. Cooke led them to a bar he had improvised by the brook.
"The Celebrity, Complete" by Winston Churchill
These merry improvisations were certainly well fitted to strengthen the creative power and activity of our intellects.
"The Story Of My Life From Childhood To Manhood The Autobiography Of Georg Ebers, Complete" by Georg Ebers
Officers should be content with a tent fly, improvising poles and shelter out of bushes.
"The Memoirs of General W. T. Sherman, Vol. II., Part 4" by William T. Sherman
These quarters, when constructed, consisted of "A" tents pitched under a shed improvised by the company.
"The Memoirs of General Philip H. Sheridan, Vol. I., Part 1" by Philip H. Sheridan
Removing the blankets from the wall, Dyke Darrel improvised a bed for the poor girl, and induced her to lie thereon.
"Dyke Darrel the Railroad Detective" by Frank Pinkerton
We were short of jail room and had to improvise.
"King--of the Khyber Rifles" by Talbot Mundy

In poetry:

Improvisations sweep and peal,
Bring night, flames, fire barrels rolling,
Trees under downpour, rumbling wheels,
Life of the streets, fate of the lonely…
"Music" by Boris Pasternak
About a homeland that resembles poetry in our country
Improvised, imported, loose and of no boundaries
Of foreign tongue and soul
Detached from Man and Land, ignoring their plight as a whole
"We Are Accused Of Terrorism" by Nizar Qabbani
When once into the pinnace they improvised a sail into a tent,
Which to the crew some little shelter lent;
Still every day they were drifting towards the coast of Greenland,
Yet they hoped in God that speedy deliverance might be near at hand.
"The Wreck of the Barque 'Wm. Paterson of Liverpool'" by William Topaz McGonagall

In news:

) Below are some excerpts of what they had to say on the topic of learning to improvise , which I present as a point-counterpoint between Montero, a free spirit, and Gottfried von der Goltz, a Baroque virtuoso and the conce...
Bobby McFerrin and world musicians Yungchen Lhamo of Tibet, Christiane Karam of Lebanon, and Gino Sitson of Cameroon improvise a cross cultural melody.
And then there is music that is a combination of the two: it's improvised around the framework of something already composed.
Sure, the modern business environment is chaotic, but you can help your team improvise their way through the mess if you follow the lead of jazz greats.
The trick with a good improvisational martial arts is following and guiding the opponent or opponents without breaking the rhythm of the music, and is the mark of an expert martial artist.
Modern Improvisation for Bass Method Released by Alfred Music Publishing.
Alfred Music Publishing releases Jimmy Haslip: Modern Improvisation for Bass, an instructional method book to expanding creative expression for jazz and fusion bassists, written by the Grammy-Award winning bassist.
Stations Improvise to Cover Massive Sandy.
Improvise , Adapt & Overcome: RC gives this pilot new wings.
Whether it is deciding to wear something different to work or school due to an unexpected change in the weather, making a toast at a celebration, or going through your fridge and pantry to put together a meal, it is improvising .
Life is about planning and improvising .
There's a great load of mystique surrounding improvisation .
Improvisation is supposed to be spontaneous.
Hahn, 32, is a leading classical concert violinist, a breed for whom improvisation is generally uncharted territory.
On Long Island, Lengthy Power Failure and Lack of Manpower Forced Mayors to Improvise as Coordination Fell Short.

In science:

This is why we improvise languages supporting distinction among permutationally isomorphic permutation groups for types PA, HS, SD, HC, CD.
Second maximal subgroups of the finite alternating and symmetric groups
The difficulties so widely experienced in complex software projects result, in the author’s submission, primarily from failure to identify the physics-based model now proposed; the key components and issues have gone unrecognised, the approach to the life-cycle improvised and incoherent.
Information science and technology as applications of the physics of signalling
An experiment is performed either to gather new data, or to verify or refute a claimed experimental fact or theoretical prediction, or to improvise upon an earlier result in regard to its accuracy.
Are Quantum States Subjective?
In the Bayesian framework all assumptions are(cid:10)explicit and there is no need to improvise a testing procedure.
Mutual Information as a Bayesian Measure of Independence