makeshift also make-shift, 1560s, as a noun, "shifty person, rogue," from MAKE (Cf. make) (v.) + SHIFT (Cf. shift) (v.). Adjectival sense of "substitute" is first recorded 1680s. Cf. make-sport "a laughing stock" (1610s).

Etymology dictionary. 2014.


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  • makeshift — make shift (m[=a]k sh[i^]ft ), n. That with which one makes shift; a temporary expedient, with implication of inferiority to the more usual object or means. James Mill. [1913 Webster +PJC] I am not a model clergyman, only a decent makeshift. G.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • makeshift — [adj] temporary alternative, BandAid*, expedient, hit or miss*, make do*, provisional, quick and dirty*, slapdash*, stopgap, substitute, temp, throwaway*; concepts 551,560 Ant. complete, finished, permanent, ready makeshift [n] temporary help… …   New thesaurus

  • makeshift — index expedient, interim, provisional, replacement, stopgap, surrogate, temporary, vicarious (substitu …   Law dictionary

  • makeshift — shift, expedient, *resource, resort, stopgap, substitute, surrogate Analogous words: *device, contrivance, contraption, gadget: *mean, instrument, agency, instrumentality …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • makeshift — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ interim and temporary. ► NOUN ▪ a temporary substitute or device …   English terms dictionary

  • makeshift — [māk′shift΄] n. a thing that will do for a while as a substitute; temporary expedient adj. that will do for a while as a substitute SYN. RESOURCE …   English World dictionary

  • Makeshift — Wikipedia does not have an encyclopedia article for Makeshift (search results). You may want to read Wiktionary s entry on makeshift instead.wiktionary:Special:Search/makeshift …   Wikipedia

  • makeshift — [[t]me͟ɪkʃɪft[/t]] ADJ GRADED: usu ADJ n Makeshift things are temporary and usually of poor quality, but they are used because there is nothing better available. ...the cardboard boxes and makeshift shelters of the homeless. ...a makeshift coffee …   English dictionary

  • makeshift — /mayk shift /, n. 1. a temporary expedient or substitute: We used boxes as a makeshift while the kitchen chairs were being painted. adj. 2. Also, makeshifty. serving as, or of the nature of, a makeshift. [1555 65; n., adj. use of v. phrase make… …   Universalium

  • makeshift — 1. noun /ˈmeɪkˌʃɪft/ A temporary, usually insubstantial, substitution for something else. I am not a model clergyman, only a decent makeshift. 2. adjective /ˈmeɪkˌʃɪft/ Made to work or …   Wiktionary