Mac·​Gy·​ver mə-ˈgī-vər How to pronounce MacGyver (audio)
MacGyvered; MacGyvering; MacGyvers

transitive verb

: to make, form, or repair (something) with what is conveniently on hand
She took … some cardboard packing inserts …, an extra shelf from a bookcase, an overturned bucket and lots of duct tape and MacGyvered a "desk" that goes over the treadmill. John Kelly
Food2, an offshoot of the Food Network, has a dating show that makes contestants MacGyver a meal without a kitchen, leading to a lot of meat cooked on car engines and ironing boards. Joel Stein
With creativity and help from the right technology, you can MacGyver together an office that is both fully functional and economical. Steve Adams

Word History


after Angus MacGyver, protagonist of the U.S. television series MacGyver (1985-92), known for regularly improvising solutions to practical problems with limited tools and materials

First Known Use

1992, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of MacGyver was in 1992

Dictionary Entries Near MacGyver

Cite this Entry

“MacGyver.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2022.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.