Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Most commonly, in drama, the quick-witted invention of dialogue to cover a performer's memory lapse would be an example of an ad-lib. Or, a director might encourage performers to ad-lib in a particular show. (The term ad-lib usually refers to the interpolation of unscripted material in an otherwise scripted performance. When the entire performance is grounded in spontaneous creation, the process is usually called improvisation).
Live performers such as television talk-show hosts sometimes enhance their reputation for wit by the delivery of material that sounds ad-libbed but is actually scripted, and may employ ad-lib writers to prepare such material.
Medical prescriptions may use the abbreviation ad lib. to indicate "freely" or that as much as one desires should be used.
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