Definition of improvise verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

     

    improvise

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//ˈɪmprəvaɪz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈɪmprəvaɪz//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they improvise
    BrE BrE//ˈɪmprəvaɪz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈɪmprəvaɪz//
     
    he / she / it improvises
    BrE BrE//ˈɪmprəvaɪzɪz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈɪmprəvaɪzɪz//
     
    past simple improvised
    BrE BrE//ˈɪmprəvaɪzd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈɪmprəvaɪzd//
     
    past participle improvised
    BrE BrE//ˈɪmprəvaɪzd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈɪmprəvaɪzd//
     
    -ing form improvising
    BrE BrE//ˈɪmprəvaɪzɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈɪmprəvaɪzɪŋ//
     
    Live music
     
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  1. 1[intransitive, transitive] to make or do something using whatever is available, usually because you do not have what you really need There isn't much equipment. We're going to have to improvise. improvise something We improvised some shelves out of planks of wood and bricks. We hastily improvised a screen out of an old blanket. You can quickly improvise a shield to protect your arm.
  2. 2[intransitive, transitive] to invent music, the words in a play, a statement, etc. while you are playing or speaking, instead of planning it in advance ‘It'll be ready some time next week, I expect,’ she said, improvising. improvise on something He improvised on the melody. improvise something an improvised speech See related entries: Live music
  3. Word Origin early 19th cent. (earlier (late 18th cent.) as improvisation): from French improviser or its source, Italian improvvisare, from improvviso ‘extempore’, from Latin improvisus ‘unforeseen’, based on provisus, past participle of providere ‘make preparation for’.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: improvise