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A Word A Day — extemporize


Good morning, Netizens...


October 22, 2012

Word of the Day


  • extemporize

  • audio pronunciation

  • \ik-STEMP-puh-ryze\





: improvise


: to get along in a makeshift manner



Although she was caught off-guard by the award, Sue managed to extemporize a speech thanking her entire team for their hard work.



"Extemporize" means to say or do something on the spur of the moment, an appropriate meaning given the word's history. "Extemporize" was coined by adding the suffix "-ize" to Latin "ex tempore," meaning "instantaneously" or "on the spur of the moment." "Ex tempore," in turn, was formed by combining "ex" and a form of the noun "tempus," meaning "time." Incidentally, "ex tempore" was also borrowed wholesale into English (where it means "extemporaneously"). Other descendents of Latin "ex tempore" include the now rare "extemporal" and "extemporary" (both synonyms of "extemporaneous"), and, as you have no doubt guessed by now, "extemporaneous" itself.

From Merriam-Webster Online at



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