Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

stopgap

play
noun stop·gap \ˈstäp-ˌgap\

Simple Definition of stopgap

  • : someone or something that is intended to be used for a short time and then replaced by someone or something better : a temporary substitute

Full Definition of stopgap

  1. :  something that serves as a temporary expedient :  makeshift <stopgap measures>

Examples of stopgap

  1. The new law is intended only as a stopgap.

  2. <the coach we have now was only hired as a stopgap until someone with more experience is found>



1684

First Known Use of stopgap

1684

Synonym Discussion of stopgap

resource, resort, expedient, shift, makeshift, stopgap mean something one turns to in the absence of the usual means or source of supply. resource and resort apply to anything one falls back upon <exhausted all of their resources> <a last resort>. expedient may apply to any device or contrivance used when the usual one is not at hand or not possible <a flimsy expedient>. shift implies a tentative or temporary imperfect expedient <desperate shifts to stave off foreclosure>. makeshift implies an inferior expedient adopted because of urgent need or allowed through indifference <old equipment employed as a makeshift>. stopgap applies to something used temporarily as an emergency measure <a new law intended only as a stopgap>.


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up stopgap? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 5, 2016

bread traditionally eaten on Shabbat

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

kittly-benders pince-nez duvet spindrift
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ