Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To rig or assemble for temporary emergency use; improvise: The survivors of the wreck jury-rigged some fishing gear.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To make an improvised rigging or assembly from whatever is available.
  • v. To create a makeshift, ad hoc solution from resources at hand.
  • n. An improvised rigging.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. to rig for temporary service; to construct flimsily and in makeshift fashion. See jury, a.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Nautical, a temporary rig when the permanent rig has been disabled.

Etymologies

From jury-rig, jury-rigging, improvised rigging on a ship, modeled on jury-mast, temporary mast, perhaps ultimately from Old French ajurie, help, from aider, to help; see aid.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From jurymast + rig. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • It was nice to be able to be generous with time, and not have to be rushing to jury-rig things.

    Star Trek The Next Generation®

  • Buddy and his crew know how to jury-rig it themselves, and soon the cookie line is up and running again.

    Who Needs an MBA When We Have 'Dog the Bounty Hunter'?

  • I did manage to get HU comments delivered to my email account with a jury-rig setup involving FeedDemon and the Mozilla email client.

    TCJ.com, 2 Months Later » Comics Worth Reading

  • But after watching BP's efforts to jury-rig a huge upside-down funnel over the spill, and learning just how long it will take to drill a relief well that BP had previously promised could be started "in a few days," it seems to me that what's really like "open-heart surgery in the dark" is deepwater drilling for oil itself.

    Carl Pope: "Like Open-Heart Surgery in the Dark"

  • After watching BP's efforts to jury-rig a huge upside-down funnel over the spill, it seems to me that what's really like "open-heart surgery in the dark" is deepwater drilling for oil itself.

    Carl Pope: "Like Open-Heart Surgery in the Dark"

  • He rails against standardized curricula and shows how unstructured classroom time can allow for priceless discoveries, like when he facilitated an impromptu mission to jury-rig a ramp so his kindergarten class turtle could climb a level of stairs.

    Dan Brown: Bill Ayers is Back... with a Brilliant Graphic Novel

  • Wolfe recalled how he and Dr. Goetzmann decided to spice up the social life for the doctoral students by having them get together, jury-rig their own rickshaws, and have plenty of gin on hand for race day motivation.

    The Kandy Kolored Rickshaw Test (VAROOOOOM!)

  • As part of the event, the 20-somethings had to jury-rig their rickshaws for the competition.

    Pulitzer-winning historian William Goetzmann dies at 80

  • After a rough boat trip out and a jury-rig for our maimed 15hp engine, we were psyched to arrive inside the small reef surrounding Magaruque Island.

    Archive 2008-10-01

  • They reminded me of the time in the Congo when Dad had to jury-rig a new windshield for the Land Rover and had cut the glass himself. . .

    BELLY UP

Comments

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  • Not to be confused with jerry-built.

    May 9, 2011

  • To rig or assemble for temporary emergency use; improvise: The survivors of the wreck jury-rigged some fishing gear.
    ETYMOLOGY: From jury-rigging, improvised rigging on a ship, modeled on jury-mast, temporary mast, perhaps ultimately from Old French ajurie, help, from aider, to help.

    October 17, 2007