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 Dictionary entry overview: What does spontaneous mean? 

SPONTANEOUS (adjective)
  The adjective SPONTANEOUS has 2 senses:

1. happening or arising without apparent external cause
2. said or done without having been planned or written in advance

  Familiarity information: SPONTANEOUS used as an adjective is rare.

 Dictionary entry details 

SPONTANEOUS (adjective)

Sense 1spontaneous [BACK TO TOP]


Happening or arising without apparent external cause


self-generated; spontaneous

Context examples:

spontaneous laughter / spontaneous combustion / a spontaneous abortion


impulsive; unprompted (proceeding from natural feeling or impulse without external stimulus)

intuitive (spontaneously derived from or prompted by a natural tendency)

instinctive; natural (unthinking; prompted by (or as if by) instinct)


induced (brought about or caused; not spontaneous)

Sense 2spontaneous [BACK TO TOP]


Said or done without having been planned or written in advance


ad-lib; spontaneous; unwritten

Context example:

he made a few ad-lib remarks


unscripted (not furnished with or using a script)

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