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

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


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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 evacuation displaced 50,000 people ahead of Thanksgiving, leaving residents to spend the holiday in hotels and makeshift shelters. Audrey Mcnamara, CBS News, "50,000 people allowed back home after blasts at chemical plant in Texas," 30 Nov. 2019 Neighbors and family members of the victims trickled into the parking lot throughout the morning to pay respects at a makeshift memorial., "Questions loom as Union City police seek suspects in killings of 2 boys," 24 Nov. 2019 Dozens of children, some as young as toddlers, were bewildered when they were picked up from school and taken to makeshift shelters. Adeel Hassan,, "Mississippi ICE raids left children bewildered, families in turmoil," 8 Aug. 2019 The water oozed under the tarpaulin wall of his family’s makeshift shelter, turning the dirt floor to mud and soaking the sacks of rice that represented most of their food. Shashank Bengali,, "Rohingya Muslims who escaped the Myanmar army now brace for a threat they can't outrun: Rain," 30 May 2018 He reportedly was stabbed to death using a makeshift knife. San Diego Union-Tribune, "UK child abuser who preyed on Malaysians killed in prison," 15 Oct. 2019 At the Battery and nearby piers, a makeshift, largely civilian fleet organized an impromptu water evacuation of between 300,000 and 500,000 people, larger than Dunkirk. Lucinda Robb, Washington Post, "Heartbreaking recollections of the September day that changed everything," 11 Oct. 2019 The officer asked for ID and about Wysynski's makeshift flashing blue and red lights attached to his car. Alisha Ebrahimji, CNN, "A teenager allegedly impersonated a police officer and pulled over a car," 3 Oct. 2019 Like most pups, Finnegan wanted to wander, but had to learn to stay in a makeshift hunting blind on the edge of the farm field. D'arcy Egan, cleveland, "Finnegan, an eager Brittany pup, displays his heritage in dove hunting field — D’Arcy Egan," 21 Sep. 2019

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

11 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Makeshift.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 14 December 2019.

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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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