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

Senate stopgap spending bill: Shortly before Christmas, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) brought a bill to the Senate floor that would have extended the government’s current funding through Feb. 8. Kristina Peterson, WSJ, "The Wall Funding Deals Trump Rejected," 14 Jan. 2019 Why this matters: Intel’s struggles to shift between its 14nm and 10nm parts may cause the company to propose stopgap measures like these. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Intel's new 'F-series' Core chips lack an integrated GPU, and probably aren't worth your money," 14 Jan. 2019 After the Senate passed a stopgap measure that would have put the funding fight off until next year, the president and House conservatives changed course and pushed for wall funding. Kristina Peterson, WSJ, "Trump Administration Warns Shutdown Could Last Into January," 23 Dec. 2018 One option that has been circulating on Capitol Hill would be to simply approve government funding at existing levels, without a boost for the border, as a stopgap measure to kick the issue into the new Congress next year. Lisa Mascaro, The Seattle Times, "Shutdown talk recedes after White House eases wall threat," 18 Dec. 2018 The news of Bush’s death may have sealed the fact that lawmakers would need a stopgap spending solution, but prospects for solving the funding expiration were fading last week. Seattle Times News Services, The Seattle Times, "Nation to pause in honor of former President George H.W. Bush on Wednesday," 3 Dec. 2018 MoviePass has been struggling all year, and this mildly bizarre attempt at a cute stopgap feels unusually cloying and diversionary. Tasha Robinson, The Verge, "MoviePass is staffed by dogs now, apparently," 8 Nov. 2018 The plans had been restricted under Obama so they would be used as stopgap coverage, rather than ongoing insurance. Stephanie Armour, WSJ, "Democrats Counter Trump Push for Cheaper, Limited Health Plans," 9 Oct. 2018 However, lawmakers will still need to come up with stopgap legislation to fund a portion of the government, including the Department of Homeland Security. Samuel Chamberlain, Fox News, "Senate approves $146B 'minibus' spending bill, sends to House," 13 Sep. 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

11 Feb 2019

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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More from Merriam-Webster on stopgap

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with stopgap

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for stopgap

Spanish Central: Translation of stopgap

Nglish: Translation of stopgap for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of stopgap for Arabic Speakers

Comments on stopgap

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esteemed in general opinion

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