noun, often attributive
stop·​gap | \ ˈstäp-ˌgap How to pronounce stopgap (audio) \

Definition of stopgap

: something that serves as a temporary expedient : makeshift stopgap measures

Synonyms for stopgap


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of stopgap in a Sentence

The new law is intended only as a stopgap. the coach we have now was only hired as a stopgap until someone with more experience is found
Recent Examples on the Web Attaching the aid to the larger stopgap bill could prove perilous for the entire bill. Allison Pecorin, ABC News, 6 Sep. 2022 But the state has continued to rely on shelters as stopgap solutions, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Fifth & Mission Podcast, San Francisco Chronicle, 8 Sep. 2022 One early stopgap was creating a floor stand for the kora, which enabled a player to toggle between two or even three differently tuned instruments. Julian Lucas, The New Yorker, 29 Aug. 2022 The decision turned a stopgap to a major crisis into a permanent solution. John Jurgensen, WSJ, 27 July 2022 There is a lack of regulation, intervention and accountability: Without an official body to set, monitor and enforce guidelines, there can be no foolproof stopgap to ensure algorithmic integrity. Ricardo Baeza-yates, Forbes, 25 July 2022 Clocking in at just under a half hour, about as long as his 2021 reggae escapade #7DJ (7 Days In Jamaica), this relatively conservative stopgap EP mixes in a few strategic collaborations that speak to what’s happening now. Gary Suarez, Rolling Stone, 13 June 2022 As a stopgap measure, the United Nations has tapped into its Emergency Response Fund, but that is not enough, and not sustainable, Mr. Griffiths said. New York Times, 22 Aug. 2022 As a stopgap measure in the meantime, the District sent a onetime check to child-care workers for $10,000 to $14,000, and plans to continue supplementing their pay moving forward. Elliot Haspel, The Atlantic, 23 July 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of stopgap

1684, in the meaning defined above

Learn More About stopgap

Time Traveler for stopgap

Time Traveler

The first known use of stopgap was in 1684

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near stopgap

stop gage



See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for stopgap

Last Updated

23 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Stopgap.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on stopgap

Nglish: Translation of stopgap for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of stopgap for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

The Great British Vocabulary Quiz

  • union jack speech bubble
  • Named after Sir Robert Peel, what are British police called?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!