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 (spŏn′tə-nē′ĭ-tē, -nā′-)
n. pl. spon·ta·ne·i·ties
1. The quality or condition of being spontaneous.
2. Spontaneous behavior, impulse, or movement.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(ˌspɒntəˈniːɪtɪ; -ˈneɪ-)
n, pl -ties
1. the state or quality of being spontaneous
2. (Psychology) (often plural) the exhibiting of actions, impulses, or behaviour that are stimulated by internal processes
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˌspɒn təˈni ɪ ti, -ˈneɪ-)

n., pl. -ties.
1. the state, quality, or fact of being spontaneous.
2. spontaneous activity.
3. spontaneities, spontaneous actions.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.



off the cuff Extempore, on the spur of the moment, spontaneously, impromptu; offhandedly, informally, unofficially. The allusion is to speakers whose only preparation is notes jotted on their shirt cuffs. Of U.S. origin, this expression dates from at least 1938.

In that scene, shot off the cuff in a shockingly bad light, there leapt out of the screen … something of the real human guts and dignity. (Penguin New Writing, 1944)

off the top of one’s head Offhandedly, unofficially, informally, without notes or preparation, extemporaneously. In this expression, the top of the head represents the superficial nature of the information being given. Webster’s Third cites Goodman Ace’s use of the expression:

Countless conferences at which everyone talked off the top of their heads.

on the spur of the moment Impulsively, impetuously; spontaneously, extemporaneously; suddenly, without deliberation. In this expression, spur implies speed, alluding to the sharp, U-shaped device strapped to the heel of a boot and used by a rider to prod a horse.

A speaker who gives us a ready reply upon the spur of the moment. (Robert Blakely, Free-will, 1831)

wing it To undertake anything without adequate preparation, usually with connotations of bluffing one’s way through. The term originated in the theater, with reference to actors who would go on stage without knowing their lines, relying on the prompters in the wings to get them through. This literal usage appears as early as 1886 in Stage Gossip.

Picturesque Expressions: A Thematic Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1980 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.spontaneity - the quality of being spontaneous and coming from natural feelings without constraint; "the spontaneity of his laughter"
naturalness - the quality of being natural or based on natural principles; "he accepted the naturalness of death"; "the spontaneous naturalness of his manner"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


Freedom from constraint, formality, embarrassment, or awkwardness:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
عَفْوِيَّه، تلقائِيَّه
vlastní iniciativa
òaî aî gerast sjálfkrafa
vlastná iniciatíva
kendiliğinden olma


[ˌspɒntəˈneɪɪtɪ] Nespontaneidad f
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[ˌspɒntəˈneɪəti ˌspɒntəˈniːəti] nspontanéité f
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


nSpontaneität f; (of style)Ungezwungenheit f
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[ˌspɒntəˈneɪətɪ] nspontaneità
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(spənˈteiniəs) adjective
1. said, done etc of one's own free will without pressure from others. His offer was quite spontaneous.
2. natural; not forced. spontaneous behaviour.
sponˈtaneously adverb
sponˈtaneousness noun
spontaneity (spontəˈneiəti) , (spontəˈniːəti) noun
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.
References in classic literature ?
In the hard-grained face of Wegg, and in his stiff knotty figure (he looked like a German wooden toy), there was expressed a politic conciliation, which had no spontaneity in it.
They could not spoil his safe spontaneity, and he remained the least cautious and the most lucky of young nobles.
The inquiry leads us to that source, at once the essence of genius, of virtue, and of life, which we call Spontaneity or Instinct.
Beliefs of this class are what are called "judgments of perception." As we saw in Lecture VIII, the images associated with a sensation often come with such spontaneity and force that the unsophisticated do not distinguish them from the sensation; it is only the psychologist or the skilled observer who is aware of the large mnemic element that is added to sensation to make perception.
'You will not remember,' he seems to say, `and you will not expect.' All good conversation, manners, and action, come from a spontaneity which forgets usages and makes the moment great.
Yet I noted, and was glad to note, evidence of a far deeper feeling than mere friendly regard, in her meeting with Arthur though this was, as I gathered, an almost daily occurrence--and the conversation between them, in which the Earl and I were only occasional sharers, had an ease and a spontaneity rarely met with except between very old friends: and, as I knew that they had not known each other for a longer period than the summer which was now rounding into autumn, I felt certain that 'Love,' and Love alone, could explain the phenomenon.
"Come now, that is putting it a bit too strongly." Sheldon laughed, but the strain in his voice destroyed the effect of spontaneity. "You know yourself how impossible the situation is."
With spontaneity of admiration, Van Horn swept Jerry from the deck and gathered him into his arms.
The spring and the spontaneity had gone out of him.
Songs were often resorted to in dairies hereabout as an enticement to the cows when they showed signs of withholding their usual yield; and the band of milkers at this request burst into melody--in purely business-like tones, it is true, and with no great spontaneity; the result, according to their own belief, being a decided improvement during the song's continuance.
But Christmas puddings, brawn, and abundance of spirituous liquors, throwing the mental originality into the channel of nightmare, are great preservatives against a dangerous spontaneity of waking thought.
Genius, he held, is necessarily intolerant of fetters: on the one hand it must have the utmost play for its spontaneity; on the other, it may confidently await those messages from the universe which summon it to its peculiar work, only placing itself in an attitude of receptivity towards all sublime chances.