make·​shift | \ ˈmāk-ˌshift How to pronounce makeshift (audio) \

Definition of makeshift

: a usually crude and temporary expedient : substitute

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Other Words from makeshift

makeshift adjective

Synonyms for makeshift


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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 In the 1970s, Coleman’s New York apartment, known as Artists House, was central to the SoHo loft scene, functioning as a makeshift gallery, concert venue, arts residency, and impromptu schoolroom. Julian Lucas, Harper's Magazine, "New Books," 30 Mar. 2020 This Sunday, Blue Moon Drive-In will transform its big screens and parking lot into an outdoor church, creating a makeshift spiritual community in the age of coronavirus. NBC News, "Churches offer drive-in services as coronavirus forces social distancing," 29 Mar. 2020 While its makeshift 1,000-bed facility in the Javits Center is ready to open, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) is calling on President Trump to allow the city to create 4,000 more. Tim O'donnell, TheWeek, "March 28, 2020," 28 Mar. 2020 This year's Cannes Film Festival has been postponed due to the novel coronavirus outbreak and the city of Cannes has requisitioned the Palais building to use as a makeshift center for the homeless. Scott Roxborough, The Hollywood Reporter, "Cannes Festival Palais Transformed Into Homeless Shelter During Coronavirus Crisis," 27 Mar. 2020 Gerwig’s Frances is a charming, aimless, young New Yorker who floats from one makeshift home to another, attempting to puzzle out her career, romantic entanglements and future. Jason Bailey, New York Times, "Short Attention Span? All These Movies Are Under 90 Minutes," 27 Mar. 2020 In Michigan, a suburban Detroit university offered up its basketball gym for a makeshift hospital and parking lots for drive-thru testing sites. Kathleen Foody, The Christian Science Monitor, "Chicago hotels open doors to patients to ease hospital crowding," 26 Mar. 2020 As people hunker down at home to prevent the further spread of coronavirus, one family has turned their garage into a makeshift club. Ashley Hoffman, Time, "Mom Turns Their Garage Into a Swinging Hotspot 'Club Quarantine' to Celebrate Son's 21st Birthday," 26 Mar. 2020 The shortage of medical supplies has become so severe, Houston-area healthcare workers are using makeshift personal protective equipment, known as PPE, such as goggles and raincoats, while others are resorting to re-using medical masks. Houston Chronicle, "Memorial City Mall to host week-long medical supply drive to help with shortage at Houston hospitals," 26 Mar. 2020

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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Time Traveler for makeshift

Time Traveler

The first known use of makeshift was in 1766

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Statistics for makeshift

Last Updated

2 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Makeshift.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Apr. 2020.

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More Definitions for makeshift


make·​shift | \ ˈmāk-ˌshift How to pronounce makeshift (audio) \

Kids Definition of makeshift

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

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