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

In an effort to avert another government shutdown when funding runs out at the end of September, the House will vote on a stopgap measure to fund the government soon after lawmakers return to Washington next week. Grace Segers, CBS News, "House will try to avert government shutdown with short-term spending bill," 5 Sep. 2019 Hurst is a good stopgap player but eventually will get exploited. Mike Preston,, "Preston: Ravens’ lack of depth on offensive line still in question," 23 Aug. 2019 Ona Brause, the municipal manager, said that the stopgap shelter funds could come from a $200,000 line item for cold weather shelter along with a collection of funding from various sources, including unfilled positions. Julia O'malley, Anchorage Daily News, "Anchorage Assembly votes to extend emergency declaration, fund Brother Francis Shelter," 27 July 2019 The commission points out that such stopgap clauses have consistently been repealed in recent years. The Economist, "Will Matteo Salvini wreck the euro?," 11 July 2019 The longest vote on record before Friday was a procedural vote to advance a stopgap government spending bill on Dec. 21, 2018. Lindsay Wise, WSJ, "Senate Fails to Restrain President’s War Power," 28 June 2019 To compensate, a stopgap was created: In front of the KVN-49, there was a large plastic disc. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "The Soviets Used Magnifying Glasses to Watch TV," 19 June 2019 Now, the city is turning again to stopgap measures while streamlining approvals to speed up construction of permanent housing. Gale Holland,, "Why L.A. County’s homelessness crisis has been decades in the making," 5 June 2019 Democrats joined all but two Republicans in voting for the stopgap measures. Jeremy Pelzer,, "Ohio lawmakers miss deadline to pass new state budget: Capitol Letter," 1 July 2019

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 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

What made you want to look up stopgap? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


formidable, illustrious, or eminent

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