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

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Synonyms for stopgap


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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 That, however, would be no more than a stopgap until nongovernmental organizations and foreign governments, who don’t require U.N. Security Council authorization to use the crossing, can find ways to send more aid from Turkey. Jessica Donati, WSJ, 11 May 2021 Whether the team signs Villanueva or Kelly, both are over 30 years old and a free-agent signing should only be viewed as a stopgap solution. Baltimore Sun Staff,, 26 Apr. 2021 Margin-rich software upgrades were rushed out as a stopgap solution to help semiconductor fabs boost output prior to the arrival of more ASML machinery. Christiaan Hetzner, Fortune, 21 Apr. 2021 The Decarsins originally viewed their relocation as temporary, a stopgap solution meant to fill time until Arlington Public Schools started offering face-to-face instruction. Washington Post, 6 Apr. 2021 Philip Rivers was merely a stopgap solution for Indianapolis, but the 38-year-old has barely kept the offense afloat. Michael Middlehurst-schwartz, USA TODAY, 12 Nov. 2020 In the 1980s, Browning hit on a stopgap solution, partnering with Beretta on the B-80. Phil Bourjaily, Field & Stream, 20 Oct. 2020 According to the stopgap provision, institutions residing in states with NIL laws set to go into effect would abide by those regulations. Daniel Oyefusi,, 1 July 2021 So, what began as a stopgap has grown into a world-wide entertainment offering executives are hoping somewhat replicates the live event. Anne Steele, WSJ, 20 June 2021

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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Time Traveler for stopgap

Time Traveler

The first known use of stopgap was in 1684

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Dictionary Entries Near stopgap

stop gage



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Statistics for stopgap

Last Updated

25 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Stopgap.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 Jul. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on stopgap

Nglish: Translation of stopgap for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of stopgap for Arabic Speakers


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