Definition of MacGyver in English:



[with object]US
  • Make or repair (an object) in an improvised or inventive way, making use of whatever items are at hand.

    ‘he MacGyvered a makeshift jack with a log’
    ‘he has a shock of short red hair and a pair of rectangular-framed glasses MacGyvered with duct tape’
    • ‘Recording in bedrooms and basements on equipment MacGyvered together with duct tape and ingenuity, its no-budget studio techniques inspired everyone from Pavement, Neutral Milk Hotel and Will Oldham to Beck and Modest Mouse.’
    • ‘While waiting for their arrival, NASA's engineers looked at other ways to MacGyver towels from material on board the space station: space diapers.’
    • ‘David somehow MacGyvers a defibrillator from scraps around the house in order to resuscitate one of the characters who gets buried alive, and it works.’
    • ‘She mastered the at of MacGyvering some clothes out of whatever you can steal from somebody else's tent.’
    • ‘It'll be MacGyvered to the best of our lack of ability, so you may be shocked at the butchery never before seen in these pages, all in the name of fast and cheap.’
    • ‘For the first two rounds Woods was able to MacGyver his way to making the cut when his game really wasn't up to it.’
    • ‘An hour after we headed out to sea, Toby had remedied our predicament by MacGyvering a replacement from plumbing parts and rope.’
    • ‘I know you're laughing, but you have no idea how many things I've "MacGyvered" with paper clips.’
    • ‘You can arm yourself with everything you need to MacGyver your way out of any problem that arises.’
    • ‘She's on SUCH a higher level than everybody else that it's really just melodrama while she MacGyvers another solution to the week's problem.’


1990s: from Angus MacGyver, the lead character in the television series MacGyver (1985–1992), who often made or repaired objects in an improvised way.