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[meyk-shift] /ˈmeɪkˌʃɪft/
a temporary expedient or substitute:
We used boxes as a makeshift while the kitchen chairs were being painted.
Also, makeshifty. serving as, or of the nature of, a makeshift.
Origin of makeshift
First recorded in 1555-65; noun, adj. use of verb phrase make shift
1. make-do, contrivance, jury-rig. 2. emergency, temporary, improvised, jury, ersatz. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for makeshift
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "A makeshift budget" was introduced by Mr. Disraeli and passed.

    The Grand Old Man Richard B. Cook
  • It was a makeshift barometer, the advertising gift of a yeast company.

    Blow The Man Down Holman Day
  • It was a slovenly word, a makeshift for the hard broom of clean thought.

    The Rough Road

    William John Locke
  • And Merrie England swarms with makeshift folk and breakdowns.

    A Poor Man's House

    Stephen Sydney Reynolds
  • Those visits, between 1889 and 1905 were only occasional, a makeshift.

    Lines in Pleasant Places

    William Senior
British Dictionary definitions for makeshift


serving as a temporary or expedient means, esp during an emergency
something serving in this capacity
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for makeshift

also make-shift, 1560s, as a noun, "shifty person, rogue," from make (v.) + shift (v.). Adjectival sense of "substitute" is first recorded 1680s. Cf. make-sport "a laughing stock" (1610s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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