Meaning of “spontaneous” in the English Dictionary

"spontaneous" in British English

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uk /spɒnˈteɪ.ni.əs/ us /spɑːnˈteɪ.ni.əs/

happening or done in a natural, often sudden way, without any planning or without being forced:

His jokes seemed spontaneous, but were in fact carefully prepared beforehand.
approving She's such a spontaneous, lively woman.

More examples

  • I am certain both these statements were spontaneous and genuine.
  • The audience broke into spontaneous applause.
  • What happened was not a spontaneous outburst of violence.
  • This was a spontaneous outpouring of emotion.
  • We had no plans to do it - it was a spontaneous thing.
noun [ U ] uk /ˌspɒn.təˈneɪ.ə.ti/ us /ˌspɑːn.tənˈeɪ.ə.t̬i/ approving

The script has a refreshing spontaneity and sparkle.
adverb uk /spɒnˈteɪ.ni.ə us /spɑːnˈteɪ.ni.ə

The liquid spontaneously ignited.

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

"spontaneous" in American English

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us /spɑnˈteɪ·ni·əs/

happening naturally, without planning or encouragement:

a spontaneous performance
spontaneous affection
adverb us /spɑnˈteɪ·ni·əs·li/

The children spontaneously gave us hugs and kisses.

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