Definition of makeshift in English:



  • Serving as a temporary substitute; sufficient for the time being.

    ‘arranging a row of chairs to form a makeshift bed’
    • ‘They were unloading RPG launchers and reinforcing a series of makeshift bunkers on Thursday.’
    • ‘Sometimes the hostels are full and homeless women are given makeshift beds, she said.’
    • ‘So makeshift solutions were invented, revived and refined to get back a certain air of balance.’
    • ‘Perhaps a few stone-aged Ciboney reached the island on makeshift rafts of floating logs.’
    • ‘The looters are using makeshift boats made of pieces of styrofoam to access.’
    • ‘Taylor endured primitive living conditions and long marches between an endless series of makeshift camps.’
    • ‘Victoria laid the fragile child in her arms on the hard wooden bench they used as a makeshift bed.’
    • ‘Dark Days charts several years in the lives of the homeless who live in makeshift shacks in the New York underground system.’
    • ‘I sat on the end of his makeshift bed and we talked about his life, family, and fishing.’
    • ‘About 109,000 people are living in makeshift shelters made from blue and white plastic sheeting.’
    • ‘Several of the pairs had to do push-ups on makeshift courts for losing points.’
    • ‘Today, the home is also falling into disrepair, with junk and makeshift sheds littering the massive garden.’
    • ‘So gone are the days when cruise travelers had to made do with makeshift facilities.’
    • ‘On the way you pass through the sprawl of makeshift dwellings that are home to tens of thousands of squatters.’
    • ‘All over town, he says, kids would be hitting golf balls, sometimes with makeshift clubs.’
    • ‘The children looked at her dully as they used the legs of the gates as makeshift soccer goals.’
    • ‘On this makeshift stage women showed you their chuffs for a quid.’
    • ‘We stayed there in the mountains eating what we could find, while living in makeshift shelters.’
    • ‘Men used their Afghan shawls as makeshift ropes to scale the stadium's walls.’
    • ‘Carers often find their own solutions from locked doors to makeshift alarms to constant surveillance.’
    temporary, make-do, provisional, stopgap, standby, rough and ready, substitute, emergency, improvised, ad hoc, impromptu, extemporary, extempore, thrown together, cobbled together
    jury-rigged, jury
    quick and dirty
    View synonyms


  • A temporary substitute or device.

    • ‘Sportsmen's Hall, it turned out, was much less grand than its name implied: all makeshifts and mazes, narrow passages harbored by rude planks.’
    • ‘Great conflicts of ideas must be solved by straight and frank methods; they cannot be solved by artifices and makeshifts.’
    • ‘May you once more take your stand on the side of Eternal Truth and not the makeshifts that pass for truth, today.’
    • ‘Such makeshifts were not uncommon among late-romantics.’
    • ‘Lambert clearly explains the ways in which solutions and makeshifts were developed to answer, in the time available, the problems that the Royal Navy faced.’
    • ‘We're looking at a matchup between makeshifts on Saturday.’
    • ‘These hard-won, fond, wearisome, and implacable wives were, after all, just temporary makeshifts.’
    • ‘All political parties are bound by their own ideological limits and do not want to make any makeshift of it.’
    • ‘The reason why we put up with all these makeshifts is because we are so poor that we cannot help it.’
    • ‘Others recounted tales of the privations caused by the blockade and the makeshifts necessitated by them.’
    • ‘This book represents the single most significant attempt in print to supply the English ‘economy of makeshifts’ with a solid, empirical basis.’
    • ‘The livelihood of most peasant families was an amalgam of makeshifts.’