Definition of make-believe in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈmākbəˌlēv/


The action of pretending or imagining, typically that things are better than they really are: she’s living in a world of make-believe
More example sentences
  • There's no fairy-tale involved like Midsummer Night's Dream where there's make-believe.
  • Of course all photography is illusion, all cinema make-believe.
  • I could play make-believe, pretend away all the pain.
fantasy, pretense, daydreaming, imagination, invention, fancy, dream, fabrication, play-acting, dreaming in technicolor, charade, masquerade, dress-up


Imitating something real; pretend: he was firing a make-believe gun at the spy planes
More example sentences
  • Are they all totally imaginary, inspired by real people, or just an amalgam of the make-believe world and the real one?
  • She threw my make-believe corpse into a real open grave while I haunted.
  • He faced a little bush and lifted his make-believe gun.
imaginary, imagined, made-up, fantasy, dreamed-up, fanciful, fictitious, fictive, feigned, fake, mock, sham, simulated
informal pretend, phony


Pretend; imagine: [with clause]: Brenda rode along, make-believing she was a knight riding to the rescue
More example sentences
  • I was knocking them together gently, make-believing that they were real entities, locked in fisticuffs, a classic battle of good versus evil.
  • The dark-haired child gave way to her sister's commands, slinking to the base of the stone pedestal that would be make-believed into a high and impenetrable lair.
  • Children know how to imagine and make-believe, and how to play.
pretend, fantasize, daydream, build castles in the air, dream, imagine, play-act, play

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: make-be·lieve

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