make·shift | \ˈmāk-ˌshift \

Definition of makeshift 

: a usually crude and temporary expedient : substitute A large box served as a makeshift table.

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Other Words from makeshift

makeshift adjective

Synonyms for makeshift


expedient, stopgap

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Choose the Right Synonym for makeshift

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

Examples of makeshift in a Sentence

when his belt broke, he was forced to use string as a makeshift

Recent Examples on the Web

The video clip of Lucy, my just turned 15 year old granddaughter, walking across the makeshift stage in the gym of the Galvin Middle School in Canton two weeks ago, is a gift. Beverly Beckham,, "She is loved. And isn’t that everything?," 29 June 2018 His mom wrapped her scarf around the arm as a makeshift tourniquet while waiting for emergency medical crews. Bruce Henderson, charlotteobserver, "A boy's arm was severed in an accident. But his mom's quick thinking saved him.," 25 June 2018 The two officers immediately began life-saving measures, including creating a makeshift tourniquet with a leather belt to stop the blood loss. Mike Glenn, Houston Chronicle, "Katy ISD police officers honored," 1 June 2018 After Fox created a makeshift tourniquet to stop the flow of blood long enough to get her to the hospital, surgeons were able to save Ndlovu’s life. Fox News, "Bride whose arm was bitten off by crocodile gets married days after attack," 7 May 2018 With the help of another man, Finney used the bungee cord to assemble a makeshift tourniquet on the woman's leg. Lindsay Benson, CNN, "A Carl's Jr. employee sprang into action to help a victim of the YouTube shooting," 4 Apr. 2018 Until then, the seals would be swimming around in what looks like a makeshift unicorn costume. Kasha Patel, Smithsonian, "How Data-Gathering Seals Help Scientists Measure the Melting Antarctic," 13 July 2018 Meanwhile, efforts to drain the cave, through pumps and a makeshift dam, began producing results. Hannah Beech, Richard C. Paddock And Muktita Suhartono, New York Times, "‘Still Can’t Believe It Worked’: The Story of the Thailand Cave Rescue," 12 July 2018 Elian’s mother was among a group of people who died at sea trying to float to Florida from Cuba aboard makeshift rafts strapped to tire inner tubes. Wayne K. Roustan,, "Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has worked on high-profile South Florida cases," 10 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'makeshift.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of makeshift

1766, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for makeshift

Last Updated

16 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for makeshift

The first known use of makeshift was in 1766

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More Definitions for makeshift


make·shift | \ˈmāk-ˌshift \

Kids Definition of makeshift

: serving as a temporary substitute I used my jacket as a makeshift pillow.

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Comments on makeshift

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


a state of commotion or excitement

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