Many copyeditors are more familiar with the term improvisation more so than extemporize. Improvisation comes up more during theatre when performers act out scenes without previously been given lines. Extemporize comes more from speech and debate when candidates are given a topic and then asked to speak freely without previous research. In reality, both of these words can be used the same way and can be interchangeable.
Extemporize – to perform an act or utter something in an impromptu manner; improvise.
Improvisation – suddenly or hastily prepared.
Extemporize is from the Latin words ex, meaning “immediately after”, and tempore, meaning “occasion”. Improvisation comes from the French term, improvisation, meaning “act of improvising musically”.
Use in a Sentence
The student had to extemporize his story to make it more interesting.
The candidate chose to extemporize while he looked for his speech.
The actress chose improvisation for her acceptance speech when she received her award.