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ad-lib

to do something spontaneously and without preparation

TRANSLATION

ad-lib = improvisieren (woerterbuch.info) --- GOOGLE INDEX ad-lib: approximately 2,300,000 hits

STATISTICS

IN THE PRESS

The report threw both US Secretary of State Colin Powell and British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw somewhat onto the defensive as they hurriedly AD-LIBBED part of their speeches.

(BBC News)

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"Monty Python gives the impression of being AD-LIBBED. It looks like it's thrown together because we were just bad at our jobs..."

- Terry Gilliam, member of the Monty Python comedy troupe

Did you
know?

ad-lib
verb

- to improvise, especially lines or a speech
ad lib

adjective

- spoken, composed, or performed without preparation

(Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary)

ad lib

noun

- words, music, or actions which are uttered, performed, or carried out spontaneously

(The American HeritageĀ® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

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WORD ORIGIN

Ad lib is short for the Latin ad libitum "at one's pleasure, as much as one likes", from libere "to please".

Ad-libbing is the true art of acting and can lead to astonishingly good performances. Or it can turn into something to laugh about. Bob Wolff was hired as the announcer for New York City's Madison Square Garden in 1951. He recalls his first night on the job.

"My first night at Madison Square Garden, they let me ad-lib the cigar commercials. The big commercial was the Robert Burns Imperial cigar. It cost 25 cents. It was their top-of-the-line cigar and was packed in a glass tube. They told me to talk about its aroma--the smell of that fresh tobacco--and I'll never forget looking in the camera, the cigar under my nose, and saying, 'Boy, this has a wonderful fragrance and aroma. And what rich tobacco!'

The telephones started ringing and the vice president of the advertising agency said, 'Congratulations, those words were great. Just one suggestion. The next time you talk about that cigar and its wonderful aroma, please take it out of the glass tube first.' "

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SYNONYMS

verb

improvise, invent, jam (music), make up, make it up as you go, wing it

adjective

ad hoc, freestyle, off-the-cuff, impromptu, makeshift, on impulse, on-the-spot, spontaneous, spur-of-the-moment, unplanned, unrehearsed

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ANTONYMS

verb

plan, prepare, rehearse

adjective

deliberate, planned, premeditated, prepared, rehearsed

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SMUGGLE OWAD INTO TODAY'S CONVERSATION:

"It's seldom a good idea to ad-lib if you are facing the press!"

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