Ad hoc – Definition & Meaning

The term “ad hoc” is commonly used in various fields, such as business, law, and politics. It is a Latin phrase that has been adopted into English, and it refers to something that is created or done for a specific purpose or situation, without any prior planning or preparation. In this article, we will explore the definition and meaning of ad hoc, its origin, synonyms, antonyms, and associations.


Ad hoc is an adjective that describes something that is created or done for a specific purpose or occasion, without any prior planning or preparation. It can also refer to a committee or group that is formed for a specific purpose or task. In some cases, ad hoc can have a negative connotation, implying that something has been done hastily or without proper consideration.


The phrase “ad hoc” is Latin, and it literally means “for this.” It is a combination of the preposition “ad,” which means “to” or “toward,” and the pronoun “hoc,” which means “this.” The term has been adopted into English and is commonly used in various fields.

Meaning in different dictionaries

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, ad hoc means “formed, arranged, or done for a particular purpose only, without any prior planning or preparation.” Merriam-Webster defines it as “formed or used for specific or immediate problems or needs without regard for general principles or long-term objectives.” The Cambridge Dictionary describes ad hoc as “made or done for a particular purpose, without considering whether it is suitable for other purposes.”


Ad hoc is commonly associated with temporary solutions or measures that are taken in response to a specific problem or situation. It is often used to describe committees or groups that are formed to address a particular issue or task. Ad hoc solutions are often seen as quick fixes that may not be sustainable in the long term.


Some synonyms for ad hoc include impromptu, makeshift, ad-lib, spur-of-the-moment, and extemporaneous. These words all describe something that is done without prior planning or preparation.


Antonyms for ad hoc include planned, premeditated, deliberate, intentional, and calculated. These words describe actions or decisions that are made with careful consideration and preparation.

The same root words

The Latin root words “ad” and “hoc” are also used in other English words. “Ad” is a common prefix that means “to” or “toward,” and it is used in words like adapt, add, and adhere. “Hoc” is a pronoun that means “this,” and it is used in words like hocus-pocus and hocussed.

Example Sentences

  1. The ad hoc committee was formed to address the issue of employee safety.
  2. The company implemented an ad hoc solution to deal with the sudden increase in demand.
  3. The politician’s ad hoc response to the question did not inspire confidence.
  4. The team had to come up with an ad hoc plan to finish the project on time.
  5. The ad hoc nature of the decision was criticized by some members of the board.
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