top of page
The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce makeshift (audio)

Dictionary definition of makeshift

Created or put together quickly and often temporarily, using available materials or resources.
"He built a makeshift shelter using branches and leaves."

Detailed meaning of makeshift

It describes a solution, object, or arrangement that is not designed or intended for a specific purpose, but rather serves as a practical and immediate response to a particular need or situation. Makeshift solutions are typically improvised, and they might not be as effective, durable, or aesthetically pleasing as more permanent or professionally designed alternatives. Despite their temporary nature, makeshift solutions can be ingenious and resourceful, demonstrating the ability to adapt and problem-solve with the resources at hand.

Example sentences containing makeshift

1. The storm caught us off guard, so we had to create a makeshift shelter out of branches and leaves.
2. With no proper mixer available, she used a makeshift spoon to blend the ingredients.
3. The power outage forced us to rely on makeshift candles made from old crayons.
4. In the absence of a ladder, he stacked up makeshift boxes to reach the high shelf.
5. The campers constructed a makeshift bridge to cross the river and continue their journey.
6. The students used a makeshift whiteboard by taping sheets of paper together.

History and etymology of makeshift

The adjective 'makeshift' has its etymological origins in the combination of two words: 'make' and 'shift.' 'Make' is derived from the Old English word 'macian,' meaning 'to construct' or 'to create,' while 'shift' originates from the Old English word 'sciftan,' which means 'to arrange' or 'to move.' 'Makeshift' describes something that is created or put together quickly and often temporarily, using available materials or resources, in order to address an immediate need or problem. The term embodies the concept of resourcefulness and improvisation, highlighting the ability to adapt and find practical solutions using whatever is at hand. 'Makeshift' reflects the ingenuity and pragmatism of individuals when faced with challenges, emphasizing the value of making do with limited resources to meet essential needs.

Quiz: Find the meaning of makeshift

Try Again!


Further usage examples of makeshift

1. Without a tent, they spent the night in a makeshift campsite made between rocks.
2. She fashioned a makeshift curtain out of an old bedsheet to add some privacy to her room.
3. The broken chair was replaced by a makeshift stool made from a stack of books.
4. The chef had to use a makeshift oven made from bricks for the outdoor cooking event.
5. With the broken microphone, the singer resorted to a makeshift megaphone to address the crowd.
6. The gardeners set up a makeshift scarecrow to deter birds from eating the newly planted seeds.
7. The hikers created a makeshift trail marker using brightly colored ribbons.
8. In the absence of a table, they had a makeshift picnic on a large blanket spread on the ground.
9. The mechanic fashioned a makeshift solution to temporarily fix the car's exhaust pipe.
10. The stranded travelers built a makeshift signal fire to attract the attention of rescuers.
11. Lacking a proper stage, the street performers used a makeshift platform to showcase their talents.
12. The children turned an old cardboard box into a makeshift clubhouse.
13. To avoid the rain, the pedestrians took refuge under a makeshift canopy made from plastic sheets.
14. The adventurers fashioned makeshift backpacks from old bags and ropes for their expedition.



improvised, permanent, durable, stable


ACT 4 (American College Testing), Duration and Transience, Adaptability and Resilience

bottom of page