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90s Slang You Should Know


[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
  • makeshift arrangements are not always nice looking, but some of the finest chickens are kept in very poor quarters.

    Our Domestic Birds John H. Robinson
  • It was a makeshift barometer, the advertising gift of a yeast company.

    Blow The Man Down Holman Day
  • For a number of years these makeshift cars found an appreciative patronage, and temporarily served the patrons of the road.

  • It was a slovenly word, a makeshift for the hard broom of clean thought.

    The Rough Road William John Locke
  • In the nature of the case, real redemption, without any makeshift, was the only way this could be done.

    God's Plan with Men T. T. (Thomas Theodore) Martin
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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