A a


    • US Pronunciation
    • US IPA
    • UK Pronunciation
    • UK IPA
    • [ad-lib, ad-]
    • /ˈad lɪb/
    • /æd lɪb/
    • US Pronunciation
    • US IPA
    • [ad-lib, ad-]
    • /ˈad lɪb/

Definitions of ad-lib word

  • verb ad-lib If you ad-lib something in a play or a speech, you say something which has not been planned or written beforehand. 3
  • countable noun ad-lib An ad-lib is something which is said without having been planned or written beforehand. 3
  • countable noun ad-lib Ad lib is also an adverb. 3
  • verb ad-lib to improvise and deliver without preparation (a speech, musical performance, etc) 3
  • adjective ad-lib improvised; impromptu 3
  • adverb ad-lib without restraint; freely 3

Information block about the term

Origin of ad-lib

First appearance:

before 1915
One of the 14% newest English words
1915-20, Americanism; v. use of ad lib

Historical Comparancy

Parts of speech for Ad-lib


ad-lib popularity

A pretty common term. Usually people know it’s meaning, but prefer to use a more spread out synonym. About 53% of English native speakers know the meaning and use word.
According to our data about 73% of words is more used. This is a rare but used term. It occurs in the pages of specialized literature and in the speech of educated people.

Synonyms for ad-lib

adj ad-lib

  • improvise — to compose and perform or deliver without previous preparation; extemporize: to improvise an acceptance speech.
  • impromptu — made or done without previous preparation: an impromptu address to the unexpected crowds.
  • improvised — made or said without previous preparation: an improvised skit.
  • ad libitum — (to be performed) at the performer's discretion
  • made-up — concocted; falsely fabricated or invented: a made-up story.

adv ad-lib

  • off the cuff — with little or no preparation; extemporaneous; impromptu: a speaker with a good off-the-cuff delivery.
  • spontaneously — coming or resulting from a natural impulse or tendency; without effort or premeditation; natural and unconstrained; unplanned: a spontaneous burst of applause.
  • off the top of one's head — the upper part of the body in humans, joined to the trunk by the neck, containing the brain, eyes, ears, nose, and mouth.

verb ad-lib

  • invent — to originate or create as a product of one's own ingenuity, experimentation, or contrivance: to invent the telegraph.
  • make up — the style or manner in which something is made; form; build.

Antonyms for ad-lib

adj ad-lib

  • deliberate — If you do something that is deliberate, you planned or decided to do it beforehand, and so it happens on purpose rather than by chance.
  • planned — arranged, organized, or done in accordance with a plan: a planned attack.
  • prepared — properly expectant, organized, or equipped; ready: prepared for a hurricane.
  • written — a past participle of write.

adv ad-lib

  • deliberately — carefully weighed or considered; studied; intentional: a deliberate lie.

verb ad-lib

  • prepare — to put in proper condition or readiness: to prepare a patient for surgery.
  • rehearse — to practice (a musical composition, a play, a speech, etc.) in private prior to a public presentation.
  • write — to trace or form (characters, letters, words, etc.) on the surface of some material, as with a pen, pencil, or other instrument or means; inscribe: Write your name on the board.
  • plan — a scheme or method of acting, doing, proceeding, making, etc., developed in advance: battle plans.

Top questions with ad-lib

  • what is an ad-lib?
  • what is ad-lib feeding?

See also

Matching words

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