Try Our Apps


The Best Internet Slang


[stop-gap] /ˈstɒpˌgæp/
something that fills the place of something else that is lacking; temporary substitute; makeshift:
Candles are a stopgap when the electricity fails.
This is only a stopgap solution.
Origin of stopgap
First recorded in 1525-35; noun, adj. use of verb phrase stop a gap
2. improvised, temporary, substitute, impromptu. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for stopgap
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She was going as a stopgap to speak at a large meeting to oblige Angelica.

    The Beth Book

    Sarah Grand
  • The stopgap was such that it must remain as it was; and every further effort was useless.

    Toilers of the Sea Victor Hugo
  • Because Brownlee knows why I'm looking for a cure to replace the stopgap.

    Nor Iron Bars a Cage.... Gordon Randall Garrett
  • But he knew that they were only a stopgap, only a temporarily shoring of a constantly-eroding dam.

    The Dueling Machine Benjamin William Bova
  • It's a stopgap effort, just to keep things moving until Project Sea-Dredge starts functioning.

    The Hunted Heroes Robert Silverberg
  • In this his Christian neighbours liked him well, insomuch as he was a kind of stay or stopgap to the infidels.

British Dictionary definitions for stopgap


  1. a temporary substitute for something else
  2. (as modifier): a stopgap programme
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for stopgap

1680s, from stop + gap.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for stopgap

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for stopgap

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for stopgap