1680s. From the verb form make shift. Pronunciation
  • (British) IPA: /ˈmeɪkˌʃɪft/

makeshift (plural makeshifts)

  1. A temporary (usually insubstantial) substitution.
    • 1871, George Eliot [pseudonym; Mary Ann Evans], chapter XVII, in Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life, volume I, Edinburgh; London: William Blackwood and Sons, OCLC 948783829 ↗, book II (Old and Young), page 316 ↗:
      And I am not a model clergyman—only a decent makeshift.
    • Hoboism cannot be cured or prevented by makeshifts or by local measures and efforts, although community interest naturally is vital in dealing with a problem that comes home to every community.
Translations Adjective


  1. Made to work or suffice; improvised; substituted.
    They used the ledge and a few branches for a makeshift shelter.
Translations 1560s. From make + shift. Noun

makeshift (plural makeshifts)

  1. (obsolete) A rogue; a shifty person.

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