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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
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. 2015.
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Examples from the web for makeshift
  • Hundreds of thousands are living in makeshift camps.
  • Using a piece of vegetation as a makeshift pillow, a pair of elephant seals cuddle on the beach.
  • Drivers and cars get ready to rumble in makeshift service pits.
  • The only people in imminent danger are the guys standing around the makeshift launchpad.
  • Injured protesters were treated at a makeshift clinic in a mosque.
  • Sports stadiums, disused factories and city parks all became makeshift homes for refugees.
  • Families build makeshift huts, or sukkah, with roofs open to the sky.
  • He set up a makeshift studio in an empty storefront across the street from where he lived.
  • The rebels responded by firing nearly a dozen of the makeshift mortars.
  • Hundreds of thousands are living in makeshift shelters.
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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