make shift

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make shift

old-fashioned To cope or manage to do something without all the resources that one would ideally like to have. Often followed by "with" or "without," depending on the context of the sentence. We don't have all the spices we need for this recipe, but we can make shift with what we have. Since I forgot to pick up milk on the way home, I guess we're just going to have to make shift without it. When I was growing up, we didn't have a lot of money, but we made shift.
See also: make, shift
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

make shift

do what you want to do in spite of not having ideal conditions; get along somehow.
See also: make, shift
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in classic literature ?
Ethan felt that if he had pleaded an urgent need Hale might have made shift to pay him; but pride, and an instinctive prudence, kept him from resorting to this argument.
'And that having this gift, and not being equally good at other things, he has made shift to get some schooling.'
Toby, who had been looking after Meg, quite stupidly, made shift to murmur out that he was very quick, and very strong.
"I have made shift slight positional shifts owing to the injuries and we are good to go." class="MsoNormalThe winner will meet last year's losing finalist Impala Saracens in the second round.
Similarly, he said, efforts were being made shift M.Phil programmes to online system by the end of next year.
Boulton said: 'I founded my manufactory on one of the most barren commons in England where there existed but a few miserable huts filled with idle, beggarly people who, by the help of the common land and a little thievery made shift to live without working.'