Meaning of “improvise” in the English Dictionary

american-english dictionary

"improvise" in British English

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improviseverb [ I or T ]

uk /ˈɪm.prə.vaɪz/ us /ˈɪm.prə.vaɪz/

to invent or make something, such as a speech or a device, at the time when it is needed without already having planned it:

I hadn't prepared a speech so I suddenly had to improvise.
We improvised a mattress from a pile of blankets.

When actors or musicians improvise, they perform without prepared speech or music, making up the play, music, etc. as they perform it:

During certain scenes of the play there isn't any script and the actors just improvise (the dialogue).

(Definition of “improvise” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"improvise" in American English

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improviseverb [ I/T ]

us /ˈɪm·prəˌvɑɪz/

to invent or provide something at the time when it is needed without having already planned it:

[ T ] We improvised a mattress from a pile of blankets.

music To improvise music or speech is to invent it while you are performing it:

[ I ] Hughes encourages young actors to improvise during rehearsals.

(Definition of “improvise” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)