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[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
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. 2015.
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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
  • It's a stopgap effort, just to keep things moving until Project Sea-Dredge starts functioning.

    The Hunted Heroes Robert Silverberg
  • But he knew that they were only a stopgap, only a temporarily shoring of a constantly-eroding dam.

    The Dueling Machine Benjamin William Bova
  • 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
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Word Origin and History for stopgap

1680s, from stop + gap.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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