Definition of make in English:

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Pronunciation: /meɪk/

verb (pastand past participle made /meɪd/)

[with object]
1Form (something) by putting parts together or combining substances; create: my grandmother made a dress for me cricket bats are made of willow
More example sentences
  • His famous vacuum cleaner is made from clear plastic, allowing the owner to see all of the working parts.
  • He was making something out of a piece of scrap wood.
  • The remaining aircraft will be brought back into service as new hubs are made.
1.1 (make something into) Alter something so that it forms (something else): buffalo’s milk can be made into cheese
More example sentences
  • He admits that the theatre production has precipitated a renewed interest in making the complex story into a film.
  • All the raw materials go to the liver and the liver makes use of those and makes them into proteins.
  • We would like the public to see how the milk is produced, what different things it can be made into.
1.2Compose or draw up (something written or abstract): make a list of all the points you can think of
More example sentences
  • Congress, under the Constitution, is the body that makes laws and regulations governing the armed forces.
  • She had to pose for photographs and drawings were made from the pictures.
  • The chosen man was instructed to make a will and briefed on how he would die.
formulate, draw up, write, frame, draft, form, enact, pass, lay down, establish, institute, found, originate
1.3Prepare (a dish, drink, or meal): she was making lunch for Lucy and Francis [with two objects]: I’ll make us both a cup of tea
More example sentences
  • We set up our trusty camp-cooker in the empty kitchen and made coffee which we drank outside.
  • He got fruit ready for my lunch and made my breakfast.
  • I find the flesh of the sweet potato makes a lovely smooth gnocchi so I often make this dish for supper.
prepare, get ready, put together, concoct, cook, dish up, throw together, whip up, brew
British informabal mash
North American informal fix
1.4Arrange bedclothes tidily on (a bed) ready for use: after breakfast you’d have until 8.25 to make your bed
More example sentences
  • She made the bed over again, turning the sheets and pillowcases inside out and fluffing the pillows.
  • According the comments, I don't know how to make a bed properly.
  • She used to have to make 18 beds every morning.
1.5Arrange and light materials for (a fire).
Example sentences
  • Dad used to make a big deal about getting the fireworks, while Chris and I made a bonfire.
  • Some years ago I met up with an estate agent who loved making fires.
  • They left the car by the side of the road, and ventured a bit into the forest, where they made a fire.
1.6 Electronics Complete or close (a circuit).
Example sentences
  • We connect components together with wires or copper tracks to make circuits, but it's the components that do all the work.
2Cause (something) to exist or come about; bring about: the drips had made a pool on the floor
More example sentences
  • Brian went to hand the comic back but then brought his other hand up and made a small tear on the front cover.
  • He kicked a car once and made a dent.
  • If you've only got a few leaves then you can sling them in a bin bag, make a few air holes in it, tie up the top and leave it for a year or so.
2.1 [with object and complement or infinitive] Cause to become or seem: decorative features make brickwork more interesting the best way to disarm your critics is to make them laugh
More example sentences
  • One of the steps in making my flat ready for sale is the redecoration of the entire place.
  • The strong cast is what makes this sometimes mediocre material work as well as it does.
  • This is not the kind of speech to make a deeply unpopular leader any more popular.
2.2Carry out, perform, or produce (a specified action or sound): anyone can make a mistake
More example sentences
  • A spokesman said the changes had been made after the company had taken on board comments at a public meeting about the original proposals.
  • Officers made one arrest and a dog-handling unit was brought in to assist the hunt for others.
  • Paul makes a long boring speech, telling everyone to side with commercial development.
literary beget
perform, execute, give, do, accomplish, achieve, bring off, carry out, effect, practise, engage in, commit, act, prosecute
perpetrate, commit, be responsible for, be guilty of, be to blame for;
informal slip up, bloop, make a boo-boo, blow it, foul up, goof (up)
British informal boob, drop a clanger
North American informal screw up, drop the ball
2.3(In soccer) enable a teammate to score (a goal) by one’s play.
Example sentences
  • He is exceptional at long balls, crossing and at free kicks and has made goals from all over the park for united.
  • I made a goal and if I had scored it would have been the icing on the cake for me on my debut.
  • He is a defender, he is a midfielder but he is also an attacker - a winger who makes and scores goals.
2.4Communicate or express (an idea, request, or requirement): there are two more points to make [with two objects]: make him an offer he can’t refuse
More example sentences
  • Two senators have complained that you made derogatory remarks about them, and they're asking that you tone it down.
  • If the parties are unable to agree on costs, written submissions may be made to me.
  • How kind of you to take the trouble to write and make such a tempting invite.
2.5 archaic Enter into a contract of (marriage): as many sailors do, he made a foolish marriage
More example sentences
  • For this is a marriage made in heaven which will surely end in an ugly, emotional divorce.
  • We want our marriage to be recognised as a marriage - just like any other marriage made in Canada.
  • If body language was anything to go by, this was indeed a marriage made in heaven.
2.6 [with object and complement] Appoint or designate (someone) to a position: he was made a fellow of the Royal Institute
More example sentences
  • He became a prominent supporter of Abraham Lincoln, was made a general in the Civil War, and later became a US senator.
  • Henry II appointed him chancellor and made him his intimate friend and companion.
  • King George V made her a Dame Commander of the British Empire in 1925.
appoint, designate, name, nominate, select, elect, vote in, install, place, post;
induct, institute, invest, ordain, assign, cast as;
detail, draft, engage, hire, employ, recruit, retain, enrol, enlist, sign up
2.7 [with object and complement] Represent or cause to appear in a specified way: the issue price makes them good value
More example sentences
  • You have to call it that now so you can identify with it, but it's just old ideas made new again.
  • We come through thinking that going out drinking makes you a big man.
  • Shut up, buddy: alcohol makes everything better, even pop punk.
2.8Cause to be successful: the work which made Wordsworth’s reputation
More example sentences
  • You have time still, but you have become old enough for reputations to be made.
  • A hearty soup with lots of vegetables, some rice or pasta and a little protein can make a meal.
  • But it wasn't the flashy rookies who made the show - it was the wily veterans.
3 [with object and infinitive] Compel (someone) to do something: she bought me a brandy and made me drink it
More example sentences
  • When a certain group tried to make us give into pressure, they were chased away by the ones in power.
  • He directed me to get out of the car and made me walk a straight line.
  • His mother Jacqueline resorted to emotional blackmail to try to make him stop.
have someone do something, prevail on, dragoon, bludgeon, strong-arm, impel, constrain, urge, will, steamroller, browbeat, intimidate, use strong-arm tactics on, bully, hector, blackmail
informal railroad, bulldoze, put the heat on, put the screws on, turn/tighten the screw/screws on
4Constitute; amount to: they made an unusual duo
More example sentences
  • This makes the third time I have started this letter and always something comes up to interfere with its writing.
  • Rachael and Stephanie make a mean sisterly duo on the hill rally circuit.
  • We made a pretty good team.
4.1Be suitable for or likely to develop into: this fern makes a good houseplant
More example sentences
  • In fact, as the months go by I have begun to see that Hilary would make a far finer wife than the errant Stella.
  • As a former forward I've my own ideas about what makes a great forward.
  • With her long features and battered trilby, she also makes a plausibly boyish Ganymede.
4.2Consider to be; estimate as: How many are there? I make it sixteen
More example sentences
  • What time do you make it?
  • I make it - what? A hundred fifty yards to the bend?
  • We are currently at 13,000, excuse me, make that 14,200 feet above sea level, looking out over a sea of clouds.
compute, calculate, work out;
estimate, count up, determine, gauge, reckon, put a figure on, give a figure to, forecast, predict
4.3Agree or decide on (a specified arrangement): let’s make it 7.30
More example sentences
  • Please check with Fred Hulmes before making any other arrangements to avoid disappointment.
  • Let's make it a night for ourselves.
  • Before we headed toward our trains, we made a lunch date.
reach, come to, settle on, determine on, conclude, establish, seal
5Gain or earn (money or profit): he’d made a lot of money out of hardware
More example sentences
  • Being an artist is a way to get my songs out there, but labels are looking to make money and a profit.
  • Edwards has made a fortune as a lawyer.
  • He makes millions of dollars a year!
5.1 Cricket Score (a specified number of runs): he made a century
More example sentences
  • Fleming stated before this match that he needed to start making runs, as every international batsman does.
  • Can you give some more details of the innings when Don Bradman made 300 in a day in a Test?
  • The batting will be left alone with each of the top five making half centuries.
6Manage to arrive at (a place) within a specified time or catch (a train or other form of transport): we’ve got a lot to do if you’re going to make the shuttle they didn’t always make it on time
More example sentences
  • The only way we could make it on time was to start driving on Thanksgiving Day and keep going way into the night.
  • Seems he and Abi had a gig and it was such short notice that his band couldn't make it.
  • If I can get to Hammersmith by twenty to one in the morning I can make the very last train into Richmond.
catch, get, arrive/be in time for, arrive at, reach;
get to
6.1 (make it) Become successful: he waited confidently for his band to make it
More example sentences
  • Before we made it, he drove a fruit and veg van and then would drive us to all our gigs.
  • She said Davis made it because of her singing - not a crazy costume or attention-getting gimmick.
  • He's confident he's made it as an actor, because a club devoted to hating him has sprung up at his cousin's school.
succeed, be successful, prosper, distinguish oneself, be a success, get ahead, make good
informal make the grade, arrive, crack it, cut it, find a place in the sun
6.2 (make it) Succeed in reaching safety or in surviving: the pilot didn’t make it—his neck’s broken
More example sentences
  • The group had been walking all morning before making it through a small forest.
  • He never made it to the stadium as he was blown up by a bomb planted in his vehicle.
  • In general it tends to be independent travellers and divers who make it to the island.
survive, come through, pull through, get better, recover, rally, recuperate
6.3Achieve a place in: Australia should make the final
More example sentences
  • He has his sights set even higher than that with the dream of making the World Games to be held in China in 2007.
  • He registered at Florida Southern College but did not make the team.
  • All of them are men, and we look forward to the day when an Indian woman makes it to the list!
gain a place in, get into, gain access to, enter;
achieve, attain
6.4Achieve the rank of: he wasn’t going to make captain
More example sentences
  • He made colonel in less than 15 years, as a nonrated maintenance officer.
  • He was commissioned in 1944 and made flight lieutenant two years later.
7 [no object, with adverbial of direction] Prepare to go in a particular direction: he struggled to his feet and made towards the car
More example sentences
  • I made towards the most colourful hut, which was obviously a bar though I couldn't see a name on it.
  • Stepping down from the spire he made towards the door, when suddenly he heard voices from below.
  • He made towards the window and sat down in the chair closest to it, panting.
7.1 [with infinitive] Act as if one is about to perform an action: she made as if to leave the room
More example sentences
  • Chris made to move through the doorway, when he glanced up and looked straight at Sarah.
  • ‘Come on,’ I said, making as though to stand up.
  • He looks at her helplessly, then makes as if to say something.
8North American informal Induce (someone) to have sexual intercourse with one: he had been trying to make Cynthia for two years now
More example sentences
  • He never tried to make her, never laid a hand on her.
  • He drove a Ferrari, he had long hair, and rumour had it he had even made it with a girl!
  • Is it possible that this is just a guy on the make, doing everything he can, just to make it with a woman?
9(In bridge, whist, etc.) win (a trick).
Example sentences
  • On the other hand, if a declarer makes no tricks, it is a match against her.
  • As an added complication, no sequence can be counted until its holder has actually made a trick.
  • If a defender made one or more tricks, he subtracts one point for each trick.
9.1Win a trick with (a card).
Example sentences
  • Although on table 1 our North-South pair defeated West's 5 diamonds, on table 2 with the same cards our East-West pair allowed North to play and make 4 hearts.
9.2Win the number of tricks that fulfils (a contract).
Example sentences
  • The players in the team that won the bidding score only those cards in those tricks that make the contract.
  • After a contract on the bid is made, the declarer decides whether to set the rank for that hand high or low.
9.3Shuffle (cards) for dealing.
Example sentences
  • Peter made the cards and handed them to Stern to deal.
10 [no object] Nautical (Of the tide) begin to flow or ebb.
Example sentences
  • It's an ugly place to be caught on a lee shore with a westerly gale and the tide making.


1The manufacturer or trade name of a product: the make, model, and year of his car
More example sentences
  • There are many different makes and models of reel, which can be used for this type of zander fishing.
  • Yet it was really the Morris Minor of 1928 that established the make in the public eye.
  • To be a pilot you need to know aerodynamics and a bit about the engines but you don't need to know the make of the fuel pump.
1.1The structure or composition of something.
Example sentences
  • Even from a distance I could see it was of fine make, for the hilt glittered with silver as he held it up.
2The making of electrical contact.



be made of money

[often with negative] informal Be very rich: we’re not going to pay for it—we’re not made of money
More example sentences
  • At a school where almost everyone was made of money, buying lots of chocolate was something that was high on our list of things to buy that wasn't going to put us out of pocket.
  • However, not everyone is made of money, and for them value will become a much bigger issue.
  • He thought city people were made of money, and for a time obliged them to pay a dollar for a loaf of bread.

be made up

1Northern English & Irish informal Be delighted: we’re made up about the baby
More example sentences
  • As players and mates, we are made up for him but it hurts to think he is no longer alongside us in the trenches.
  • I was made up about being best man.
  • I think of him a lot when I go running and he would be made up about me doing the triathlon.
2Irish Be assured of success; be lucky: what with the high prices since the war started, we’ll be made up if it lasts
More example sentences
  • What with the high prices for the grain an' the exportin' wholesale since the war started, we'll be made up if it lasts.

have (got) it made

informal Be in a position where success is certain: because your dad’s a manager, he’s got it made
More example sentences
  • Nothing can be more repellent to me than the self-satisfied smile of someone who thinks he has got it made.
  • At first glance, Clarkson would seem to have it made.
  • Honestly, I think that little kids have it made.

make a day (or night) of it

Devote a whole day (or night) to an activity.
Example sentences
  • He then suggested some sort of an ‘activity’ to make a day of it, like dinner and a movie.
  • It's ideal for a one-off treatment or for making a day of it, with a full range of state-of-the-art pampering packages on offer.
  • She said: ‘It is not often that I make a night of it in Glasgow but this is a special occasion.’

make someone's day

Make an otherwise ordinary or dull day pleasingly memorable for someone: a mention in her favourite mag would make her day
More example sentences
  • Kerry was delighted with her gifts from the Rotarians and thanked all of them for making her day.
  • It's gratifying when you find something for someone and it makes their day.
  • Britney makes my day when she posts letters, she really does.

make a House

British Secure the presence of enough members for a quorum or support in the House of Commons.

make do

Manage with the limited or inadequate means available: Dad would have to make do with an old car
More example sentences
  • People with learning difficulties no longer have to make do with what is available.
  • Many more channels are available nowadays, even if some of us still make do with the five.
  • Aided by support staff and by reading specialists, teachers made do with the pedagogical knowledge and skills that were available to them.

make do and mend

Manage with and repair the possessions one already has rather than buying replacements: the austerity of the war years taught her to make do and mend [as modifier]: the economic crisis sparked a new make-do-and-mend attitude
More example sentences
  • He believes the recession will allow us to rediscover some "long-forgotten, old-fashioned values" ... like rationing, perhaps, and learning to "make do and mend".
  • Thanks to a crafty grandmother who made do and mended when I lived with her as a child, I've got the bug now.
  • Should the suspected hamstring strain rule the player out for anything up to six weeks, we will have to make do and mend with those currently at the club.

make like

North American informal Pretend to be; imitate: now make like my pants and split
More example sentences
  • If you want an alternative to a T-shirt or vest, make like Kate Moss and wear your skirt with a waistcoat and nothing else.
  • He makes like a much saner but less personable Iggy Pop.
  • Of course this was before she made like Patti LaBelle and got a new attitude.

make or break

Be the factor which decides whether (something) will succeed or fail: the soundtrack can make or break a production [as modifier]: a make-or-break match
More example sentences
  • As any sports fanatic knows, commentary can make or break any game, whether on TV or on a console.
  • The quality of the lighting system is a make or break factor in the 24 Hour Race.
  • The big two in local football are heading for a make or break month of matches.

make sail

Spread a sail or sails.
Example sentences
  • To make sail is to spread an additional quantity of sail, so as to increase the ship's velocity.
  • Stepping their masts and making sail, side by side, the four boats of the Daydream forged steadily ahead.
  • If called on deck for the purpose of shortening or making sail they should come at once.
11.1Start a voyage.
Example sentences
  • He had decided to make sail for that point where they had last seen Dolphin.
  • As Iberville's ships sailed west, Arriola left Francisco Martinez in command and made sail for Mexico.
  • The death was a shock to all on board and it was a subdued company that made sail for Bermuda.

make time

1Find an occasion when time is available to do something: the nurse should make time to talk to the patient
More example sentences
  • So in addition to being available and approachable, make time during the day to informally interact with staffers.
  • He rarely makes time to exercise, occasionally playing squash or visiting the gym when he has the time and energy.
  • Occasionally, make time to invite a neighbor over and perform for them after a lunch or dinner.
2North American informal Make sexual advances to someone: I couldn’t make time with Marilyn because she was already a senior
More example sentences
  • Meanwhile, Ron was trying to make time with a table of ladies.
  • ‘So it suits me fine living there - there's never a shortage of handsome men eager to make time with me,’ she adds saucily.
  • Ethan gets a gig playing in Harrisburg and Justin secretly follows, catching the new boyfriend making time with an admirer.

make up one's mind

Make a decision; decide: he made up his mind to attend the meeting
More example sentences
  • At 35 and obviously aging, Roy Jones needs to make up his mind and decide on his future very soon.
  • He made up his mind to leave Sunday morning and decided to go for another drive.
  • You could spend half a day making up your mind what to order.
decide, be decisive, come to a decision, make a decision, reach a decision;
determine, resolve, settle on a plan of action, come to a conclusion, reach a conclusion

make way

1Allow room for someone or something else: the land is due to be concreted over to make way for a car park
More example sentences
  • ‘Companies have been telling employees who don't want to move to make way for Olympic venues that if you don't go, you'll be out of a job,’ he said.
  • So he set out, but on the road and in the village no one made way for him, and when he begged no one gave him alms.
  • The historic market, at the heart of town life for centuries, will be leaving the town for good to make way for redevelopment.
move aside, clear the way, make a space, make room, stand back;
allow to pass, allow through
2 Nautical Make progress; travel: water slapped along the hull as we begin to make way
More example sentences
  • The Hornet set sail and made way for the launch point Southeast of Japan's coast line.
  • Seeing the sun beginning to set he made way for his balcony.
  • Henrietta, shouldering an opened parasol, followed the tapping of Josh's cane as they made way slowly to the pier.

on the make

Intent on gain, typically in an unscrupulous way: a hard-faced girl on the make
More example sentences
  • This is the story of his adventures when he is sent away to live in London with his uncle, a fat man always on the make - the book's finest comic creation.
  • Mackintosh beckoned from across the park, then sat down next to him like a vagrant on the make.
  • There is always someone on the make in a crisis.
ambitious, aspiring, determined, forceful, pushy, enterprising, pioneering, progressive, eager, motivated, enthusiastic, energetic, zealous, committed, go-ahead, go-getting, purposeful, assertive, aggressive, hungry, power-hungry
15.1Looking for a sexual partner: he was always on the make and he had a very quick turnover
More example sentences
  • The crowd can be a little shaky sometimes (a few too many single people on the make!) but the decor is simply mindbendingly good.
  • She was obviously on the make for her mother's boyfriend.
  • Why are some people faithful and others on the make?

put the make on

North American informal Make sexual advances to (someone): Vince was hoping to put the make on his boss’s wife
More example sentences
  • He recalls that he ‘was trying to put the make on’ this woman, confirming the viewer's sense that the sexual interest expressed by the participants was authentic.
  • In the film's most nerve-racking scene, one of those youngsters manages to get Helen alone in a passenger car of a commuter train - and puts the make on her.
  • Tony Curtis plays his poor, young slave, who runs away to join up with Spartacus after Olivier puts the make on him.

you couldn't make it up

British Said in reference to something too astonishing to be believed: it is so ridiculous, you couldn’t make it up
More example sentences
  • A former jailbird playing Churchill? You couldn't make it up, could you?
  • This is so stupid you couldn't make it up.
  • There is, of course, no lack of bad news around - war looming, jobs lost, the stock market crashing, you couldn't make it up.

Phrasal verbs


make after

dated Pursue (someone).
Example sentences
  • I slipped my other shoe into my bag and made after him - he wasn't hard to locate.
  • I nodded, made after him quickly and eased myself through the hole.

make away with

another way of saying make off with.
Example sentences
  • A sweet and submissive mantrap, Irina ultimately makes away with an art collection, most of the petty cash, and the show.
  • I felt bad as I could not do anything to prevent the robbers from making away with our valuables.
  • She said her attackers gagged her mouth and tied her to the bed before making away with the property.
2.1Kill (someone): for all we know she could have been made away with
More example sentences
  • The only question that seemed to trouble him was, whom to make away with; for he was not blind to the fact that murder requires a victim as well as a priest.
  • What good is the band if the lead singer makes away with himself.
  • She heard that her son had been a coward and unworthy of her, and when he arrived, she made away with him.
kill, murder, put to death, slaughter, dispatch, execute, eliminate
informal bump off, do away with, do in, do for, knock off, take out, finish off, top, croak, stiff, liquidate, blow away
North American informal ice, off, rub out, smoke, waste
literary slay

make for

1Move or head towards (a place): I made for the life raft and hung on for dear life
More example sentences
  • The fumes of the city stung harshly in my nose as I inched towards the Ramblas, one among twenty thousand making for Barcelona's famous promenade.
  • The crowd has swelled so you can't move, let alone photograph, so I make for a restaurant on a first floor from where I can look down on the concert below.
  • Parliament decided to use its army to cut off Rupert's lines of support and so moved off the moor and made for Tadcaster.
go towards, head for/towards, aim for, make one's way towards, move towards, direct one's steps towards, steer a course towards, be bound for, set out for, make a beeline for, take to
1.1Approach (someone) to attack them.
Example sentences
  • He pushed forward and made for the woman with the guitar.
  • He began to heave the books at her, and when he ran out of books she made for him again.
  • He grunted in anger and made for them again, and Mike pushed him back once more.
2Tend to result in or be received as (a particular thing): job descriptions never make for exciting reading
More example sentences
  • We need less hostility, folks, and obeying the laws of the road can go a long way towards making for a peaceful existence.
  • This makes for comic and moving moments in a deep-thinking, pertinent play that is both heavy and light on the heart.
  • It makes for a strangely moving scene, despite or because of the hum of the nearby freeways.
contribute to, be conducive to, produce, promote, facilitate, further, advance, forward, foster, favour
formal conduce to
3 (be made for) Be eminently suited for (a particular function or person): a man made for action
More example sentences
  • This is one of those applications that PDAs were made for, but whether stores will want to install extra hardware for users remains to be seen.
  • Because they worked at this - at whatever it was, the one thing they were made for.
  • The second of the two links is the sort of collaborative project that the internet was made for.

make something of

Give a specified amount of attention or importance to: he makes little of America’s low investment rates
More example sentences
  • MacDowell is well aware of all of this, but makes too little of these interrelated developments.
  • Few artists have ever made more of their ethnic and cultural origins than Toledo.
  • They have made much of the fact that their currency is the oldest in the world.
4.1Understand the meaning or character of: he wasn’t sure what to make of Sue
More example sentences
  • What do you make of the talk-show aspect of this campaign?
  • What does she make of the success of this student-run farm?
  • Hey, don't tell me what to make of your music.

make off

Leave hurriedly, especially in order to avoid duty or punishment: they made off without paying
More example sentences
  • He also admitted making off without paying a £22 taxi fare.
  • The warning follows a number of incidents in which members of the public have made off from taxis without paying their fares.
  • He added: ‘We need to trace anyone who saw the assault, or the suspect making off.’
informal clear off/out, beat it, do a runner, leg it, make tracks, cut and run, skedaddle, vamoose, hightail it, hotfoot it, show a clean pair of heels, fly the coop, split, scoot, scram
British informal scarper, have it away (on one's toes)
North American informal light out, bug out, cut out, peel out, take a powder
British informal, dated hook it

make off with

Carry (something) away illicitly: burglars made off with all their wedding presents
More example sentences
  • Burglars made off with around £5,000 in cash after breaking in to a Kendal hotel safe.
  • The two intruders made off with a hi-fi and other electrical equipment.
  • Her mysterious assailant made off with the cash and a stale Danish pastry.
kidnap, abduct
informal walk away/off with, swipe, filch, snaffle, nab, lift, ‘liberate’, ‘borrow’, snitch
British informal pinch, half-inch, nick, whip, knock off, nobble, bone
North American informal heist, glom
Australian informal snavel
West Indian informal tief
archaic crib, hook

make out

1Make progress; fare: how are you making out, now that the summer’s over?
More example sentences
  • Newton, who took on the biggest risk back in 1984, made out pretty well, too.
  • It'll be interesting to see how the original director makes out in the wake of the Dawn of the Dead remake.
  • I would love to hear from them, see how they've made out, try to pick up where we left off, and thank them.
get on, get along, fare, do, proceed, go, progress, manage, survive, cope, get by
2North American informal Engage in sexual activity: teenagers were making out on the couch Ernie was making out with Berenice
More example sentences
  • There were dozens of times when I had walked into a room only to find him making out with some random chick.
  • She and her boyfriend were photographed making out on a yacht.
  • He has taken her for several dates downtown where they have been making out at every opportunity.
make love, have sex, have sexual intercourse;
kiss and cuddle, caress, French kiss, pet, engage in heavy petting
informal canoodle, neck, smooch
British informal snog, bonk, do it, make whoopee, get one's oats
North American informal get it on
vulgar slang fuck, screw, hump, do the business, have it away/off
British vulgar slang roger
informal, dated spoon, couple

make someone/thing out

1Manage with some difficulty to see or hear something: in the dim light it was difficult to make out the illustration
More example sentences
  • The blurriness in his eyes made it difficult to read but eventually he managed to make it out.
  • I didn't know what I was saying, because I couldn't hear it or make it out, but I saw Jason walk up again, and again he was crying.
  • His voice became faint to her, and her vision blurry, but as she could no longer make him out or hear his voice she couldn't tell what he said.
1.1Understand the character or motivation of: I can’t make her out—she’s so inconsistent
More example sentences
  • It's difficult to make Jason out because he was fine in Australia's first round match at the beginning of the week.
  • He clearly feels protective of her, but she can't make him out: is he a fantastic copper or just a complete nutter?
2 [with infinitive or clause] Assert; represent: I’m not as bad as I’m made out to be
More example sentences
  • Knowing now some of the unspeakable horrors that other children went through it is difficult to make him out as anything other than firm but fair.
  • In our very hearing you make him out to be a traitor!
  • It is not as difficult as you first make it out to be.
2.1Try to give a specified impression; pretend: he made out he was leaving
More example sentences
  • Anyway, at the end of the discussion Robbie was making out that they had settled everything.
  • We had half a page in the local paper, who made out they had discovered the whole story.
  • He makes out that he's sick, so Dan immediately decides to can the trip (much to his fiancée's chagrin).
allege, claim, assert, declare, maintain, affirm, aver, suggest, imply, hint, insinuate, indicate, intimate, impute, make as if/though, pretend
3Draw up or write out a list or document: send a cheque made out to Trinity College
More example sentences
  • When she made out her application, she received offers from universities including Lancaster, but she refused because she was set on going to Oxford.
  • It looks like Charlotte made the list out for her.
  • The contract of carriage shall be confirmed by the making out of a consignment note.
write out, fill out, fill in, complete, draw up, draft, inscribe

make someone over

Give someone a new image with hairstyling, make-up, or clothes.
Example sentences
  • Its angle is to take a group of plain Janes, make them over into glamour girls, and then have them all take part in a season-ending beauty pageant.
  • Wilma makes Fred over as a smooth Casanova, but when it goes to his head, she decides she likes him better the way he was.
  • Paul Rudd plays Adam, a nerdy undergrad who falls for Evelyn, an iconoclastic art student hellbent on making him over.

make something over

Transfer the possession of something to someone: if he dies childless he is to make over his share of the estate to his brother
More example sentences
  • A century later, two neighbouring estates were amalgamated, creating a marvel of vistas and architecture which was eventually made over to the nation in 1841.
  • You have the property, you are living in the property, you have not made anything over to your former partner, nor your children.
  • The property would not be made over to Mr Kirk, but on the other hand must be made safe for Thomas and his family.

make up

Be reconciled after a quarrel: let’s kiss and make up
More example sentences
  • As Paul and Heather prepare to do battle, another celebrity is apparently kissing and making up.
  • The wealthy couple were later seen having a lover's tiff before kissing and making up on the dance floor.
  • They argue almost constantly, only stopping occasionally to hug and kiss and pretend to make up.
be friends again, bury the hatchet, declare a truce, make peace, forgive and forget, shake hands, become reconciled, settle one's differences, mend fences, call it quits

make someone up

Apply cosmetics to oneself or another: (as adjective made up) heavily made-up women in short skirts
More example sentences
  • With the help of fellow female team members, Adam was made up and dressed up for the strut down the catwalk.
  • Jacobs was made up to look like the former wrestling champion.
  • My several floor mates took me to the kitchenette and then they made me up for the drag night.
apply make-up/cosmetics to, powder, rouge
(make oneself up) informalput on one's face, do one's face, paint one's face, tart oneself up, do oneself up, apply one's warpaint, doll oneself up

make something up

1 (also make up for) Compensate for something lost, missed, or deficient: I’ll make up the time tomorrow
More example sentences
  • Did this mean, he asked, that the disabled were being taxed to make up for the city's lost revenue?
  • The White House has said he transferred to the Alabama Guard and missed some duty but made it up later.
  • To make up for the lost sleep, he sleeps to the full on weekends, getting up after noon.
atone for, make amends for, compensate for, make recompense for, make reparation for, make redress for, make restitution for, expiate
formal requite
1.1 (make it up to) Compensate someone for negligent or unfair treatment: I’ll try to make it up to you in the future
More example sentences
  • I will do everything I can to make it up to them, but I know that no amount of compensation is enough.
  • By making it up to the person who was hurt, we make victims of the person all over again by saying that they should not have been hurt by what happened.
  • Not that I was making it up to her or anything, but I went into the Department Store and got her a present.
2 (make up) (Of parts) compose or constitute (a whole): women make up 56 per cent of the student body
More example sentences
  • There had been speculation that Division One would be made up of 10 teams as opposed to the past season's 12 divided into two groups of five.
  • A lot of different aspects make up the constitution of a football player.
  • If water is made up of hydrogen and oxygen, why can't we breathe underwater?
2.1Complete an amount or group: he brought along a girl to make up a foursome
More example sentences
  • You can spend more than this amount if you wish, though obviously you'll be making up the difference yourself.
  • The rate has to increase by an extra amount the following year to make up the shortfall.
  • To be honest, I felt sure I was there to make up the numbers and I was quite happy to do so.
complete, round off, finish
3Put together or prepare something from parts or ingredients: make up the mortar to a consistency that can be moulded in the hands
More example sentences
  • We subsequently found out that the Austrian and German menu items are made up locally by an expert using genuine ingredients and traditional recipes.
  • Good ales are made up of many of the same ingredients which are in great bread.
  • Shortly before the Jubilee weekend, I was joking about having a t-shirt made up.
prepare, mix, concoct, put together
3.1Get an amount or group together: he was trying to make up a party to go dancing
More example sentences
  • All you need to do is to make up a team of six to eight, give yourself a catchy name and come along to test your wits and enjoy yourselves!
  • Local organisations and individuals are invited to make up teams of four.
  • Anyone unable to get a full team together can also turn up to make up more teams on the night.
3.2Prepare a bed for use with fresh bedclothes.
Example sentences
  • Nurses made certain that the patients' beds were made up with fresh linen and blankets, and they offered sedatives or aspirin to patients who were uncomfortable.
  • I returned to my room to find that Marcie had already made the beds up and returned the room to its daytime configuration.
3.3 Printing Arrange text and illustrations into pages.
Example sentences
  • I can make pages up, scan images in and all sorts of clever things.
4Invent a story, lie, or plan: she enjoyed making up tall tales (as adjective made up) a made-up story
More example sentences
  • In fact they think I just made the whole story up to get out of trouble.
  • I'm guessing you were making it up to illustrate your point.
  • Under cross examination by Louise Blackwell, defending, Miss X denied making her account up.

make up to

British informal Attempt to win the favour of (someone) by being pleasant: you can’t go on about morals when you’re making up to Adam like that
More example sentences
  • I bet she was making up to the master.
  • Harry made up to her shamelessly.
flirt with, chase after, run after, pursue, make romantic advances to, court, woo, vamp
informal chat up, make eyes at, make sheep's eyes at, give the come-on to, come on to, be all over

make with

US informal Proceed to use or supply: make with the feet, honey—you’re embarrassing Jim
More example sentences
  • If you would like to compare and contrast how he looked three weeks ago, make with the clicking on this here link.
  • The sunset was making with the umbrella-drink colors, the low-rent-tropical stuff.
  • You've tried to kill our friends and you've threatened us, but now you're trying to make with the friendly talk.



(also makable) adjective
Example sentences
  • However, the balls hit to him have been makeable plays.
  • But countless makeable plays have gone unmade and been ruled hits by generous official scorers.
  • Goalkicker Nick Hogan actually missed with another three eminently makeable efforts.


Old English macian, of West Germanic origin, from a base meaning 'fitting'; related to match1.

  • match from Old English:

    Match in the sense ‘be the same as’ comes from an Old English word meaning ‘mate, companion’ which probably goes back to the same root as Old English make. Use of the word to mean ‘contest, competitive trial’ dates from the early 16th century. The match associated with fire was first used to mean ‘candle wick’. It is from Old French meche, perhaps from Latin myxa meaning ‘spout of a lamp, lamp wick’. The wooden match we are familiar with today dates from the early 19th century.

Words that rhyme with make

ache, awake, bake, betake, Blake, brake, break, cake, crake, drake, fake, flake, forsake, hake, Jake, lake, mistake, opaque, partake, quake, rake, sake, shake, sheikh, slake, snake, splake, stake, steak, strake, take, undertake, wake, wideawake

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: make

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