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


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 stopgap, which was approved by the House, will use existing money to cover what would otherwise be a $15-per-student shortfall. Brian Slodysko, The Seattle Times, "Indiana legislative session at halftime: what lives or died," 10 Feb. 2018 Expect more of this if the impasse is not broken: From Politico: From ABC News: -- Vice President Pence accused anyone who opposes the stopgap of putting politics ahead of the military. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Friday news dumps tell the story of Trump’s first year," 19 Jan. 2018 Also Thursday, legislative leaders unveiled a stopgap bill to fund the rest of the government through Dec. 7. Samuel Chamberlain, Fox News, "House passes $146B 'minibus' bill, sends to Trump for approval," 13 Sep. 2018 Scooters could also work as a stopgap solution for transit deserts, but there are still people who can’t take advantage of them, like residents who can’t afford a smartphone to unlock one. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Electric scooters’ sudden invasion of American cities, explained," 7 Sep. 2018 The Obama administration’s stopgap solution in 2012 was the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA, giving Dreamers work permits for two-year stretches. Camila Russo,, "These Are America’s White-Collar Dreamers," 9 July 2018 For now, the stopgap solution to Burton’s problem made a difference. Lindsay Gellman, The Atlantic, "Code Now. Pay Tuition Later.," 30 June 2018 Mattarella said then that a non-aligned administration could be a stopgap solution to the country's political stalemate. Bard Wilkinson, CNN, "Italian President summons Carlo Cottarelli as election turmoil deepens," 28 May 2018 Can Paul Hill and Ashley Jochim of the University of Washington save NYC and LA from fractious politics and stopgap solutions? Jay Mathews, Washington Post, "Does the big boss really matter in big-city school districts?," 28 Jan. 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

20 May 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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highly pertinent or appropriate

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