v. 1. to handle a difficult situation through improvisation using only available materials. 2. to do an impossible activity. 3. to get the impossible girl (MacGyver had a different girl in every episode).
Note: the latter two verb definitions almost made it into the Webster Dictionary as slang because of their wide use by street gangs in LA in the 1980's (this was revealed by Richard Dean Anderson, the actor who portrayed MacGyver, on a Good Morning America episode). It was also mentioned that (supposedly) for one hour every week, gang activity decreased dramatically in LA because all of the gangs were indoors watching the TV show.
Note: It should also be noted that materials used to make explosions on the TV show always had an ingredient or two left out so that they could not be repeated by viewers. The show supposedly used help from CalTech students with some of its tricks.
...breaking out of a freezer using heat from the lights to melt ice, the run-off running down a metal slat to the freezer's latch, which then refroze, expanding and breaking the latch, openning the door.
...using a CO2 fire extinguisher, a wedge, and water to freeze the water in a crack in a boulder, expanding it so that the boulder broke apart and fell from a cliff to smash/disable a Russian APC.
...hiding a rebar inside a rolled up map so that it could later be used as a disguised weapon.
... placing a metal bowl on a food processor so that it would spin slowly, catching all of the electronic "hash" (white noise) generated by the rest of the kitchen equipment turned on to jam a micro-camera's transmission, giving MacGyver and friends a place to talk and plan without being eavesdropped on; in the same episode, using the motor of a small kitchen appliance, batteries, a belt, a small cart (like those used by typical hotel room service), and a helm from a suit of armor to provide a moving target to distract motion sensor-targetted machine guns so that Mac could escape from the booby-trapped mansion.
For more recent "MacGyverisms," interested parties should see the movie "Chain Reaction," in which Keneau Reeves plays a MacGyver-like hero who is thrust into a thrilling, domestic CIA, conspiracy theory adventure. He uses the same MacGyver style to defeat his opponents: jury-rigging a flat-bottomed boat with a fan-drive so that he and Rachel Weisz can make a getaway, attaching a chain to a moving belt to pull down a scaffold on the muscle chasing them, etc.
Those interested should also note that the entire series is on DVD, either by season or collected into one huge set covering every episode.
n. Someone who can regularly cobble together solutions to problems using only the tools available at hand.
Man, I be a regular MacGyver when it comes to making bongs
Trivia: On episodes where Macgyver makes explosives from household materials, the producers always leave out one ingredient, fearing that people at home would imitate the recipe. While most inventions and scientific wizardry seen on the show probably wouldnt work too well in real life, they're all scientifically sound and Could work.
derived from the TV show in which the main character, MacGyver, did this every week in order to save the world and get the girl
Fact: On the 1st day, God created MACGYVER. On the 2nd day, God created knives and paperclips. On the 3rd day.. MACGYVER created everything else.
Fact: MACGYVER can invent 1000 different things using a ball of yarn and a pair of sunglasses. 999 of these things can kill a man. The remaining thing can kill a planet.
Fact: MACGYVER invented genocide using only blankets and smallpox.
Fact: The only thing that MACGYVER cannot produce with a soda can and an extension cord... is mercy.
Fact: One time, MACGYVER built a time machine out of an old refrigerator and a pocketwatch, and used it to travel to the ancient paradise of Atlantis. However, while there, he went on a drunken bender with with a magnifying glass and a book of matches. This area is now known as the Sahara.
Fact: Chuck Norris is an android built by MACGYVER in an attempt to find a worthy opponent.
Fact: Some crazy people claim that MACGYVER was just a TV character, played by Richard Dean Anderson. In actuality, Richard Dean Anderson was played by MACGYVER, and the show was a documentary, the events of which REALLY HAPPENED.
And the final Fact: Necessity is the mother of invention but... MACGYVER is the father.