noun, often attributive
stop·gap | \ ˈstäp-ˌgap \

Definition of stopgap 

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

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Synonyms for stopgap


expedient, makeshift

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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

The restriction has been renewed several times since, but there was some uncertainty that it would be included in the latest iteration of the budget stopgap bill. Staff,, "Comment here on court and crime stories for Friday, March 23, 2018," 23 Mar. 2018 Because Congress often fails to pass them, interim stopgap budgets have become more frequent in recent years. Rick Noack, Washington Post, "Why other countries don’t have government shutdowns," 9 Feb. 2018 When the question of DACA-or-funding came up, on Dec. 7, eight members of the Democratic caucus voted against the stopgap. Philip Elliott, Time, "'A Kick in the Stomach.' These Liberals Are Not Happy with Senate Democrats Over the Shutdown Deal," 22 Jan. 2018 Four Republicans -- Lindsey Graham, Mike Lee, Jeff Flake and Rand Paul -- voted against the stopgap., "McConnell Threatens Early Monday Morning Vote: Shutdown Update," 20 Jan. 2018 Defense hawks in the GOP, who say short-term spending bills cripple the military, are threatening to vote against another stopgap without a long-term deal in hand to increase Pentagon funding. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "Defense-Spending Battle May Produce Government Shutdown," 12 Jan. 2018 But that is a stopgap measure that can work for only two weeks. New York Times, "Dying Organs Restored to Life in Novel Experiments," 10 July 2018 Until health care reform happens, the stopgap measure is the emergency department. Paul Seward, STAT, "Emergency departments: the ‘chewing gum and duct tape’ holding together U.S. health care," 3 July 2018 They were supposed to be a two-year stopgap measure while lawmakers considered MassHealth reforms. Jon Chesto,, "Business groups face tough fight on subsidized health care," 19 June 2018

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.

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First Known Use of stopgap

1684, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for stopgap

Last Updated

9 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for stopgap

The first known use of stopgap was in 1684

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More Definitions for stopgap



English Language Learners 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

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Comments on stopgap

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a magnificent or impressive array

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