\ˈmāk \
made\ˈmād \; making

Definition of make 

(Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a obsolete : behave, act

b : to begin or seem to begin (an action) made to go

2a : to cause to happen to or be experienced by someone made trouble for us

b : to cause to exist, occur, or appear : create make a disturbance

c : to favor the growth or occurrence of haste makes waste

d : to fit, intend, or destine by or as if by creating was made to be an actor

3a : to bring into being by forming, shaping, or altering material : fashion make a dress

b : compose, write make verses

c : to lay out and construct make a road

4 : to frame or formulate in the mind make plans

5 : to put together from components : constitute houses made of stone

6a : to compute or estimate to be I make it 23 miles to the border from here.

b : to form and hold in the mind make no doubt of it

7a : to assemble and set alight the materials for (a fire)

b : to set in order make beds

c : prepare, fix make dinner

d : to shuffle (a deck of cards) in preparation for dealing

8 : to prepare (hay) by cutting, drying, and storing

9a : to cause to be or become made them happy makes it possible

b : appoint made him bishop

10a : enact, establish make laws

b : to execute (see execute sense 2) in an appropriate manner make a will

c : set, name make a price

11a chiefly dialectal : shut the doors are made against you— William Shakespeare

b : to cause (an electric circuit) to be completed

12a : to conclude as to the nature or meaning of something what do you make of this development?

b : to regard as being not the fool some make him

13a : to carry out (an action indicated or implied by the object) make war make a speech make a detour

b : to perform with a bodily movement make a sweeping gesture

14a : to produce as a result of action, effort, or behavior with respect to something make a mess of the job tried to make a thorough job of it

b archaic : to turn into another language by translation

15 : to cause to act in a certain way : compel make her give it back

16 : to cause or assure the success or prosperity of can either make you or break you

17a : to amount to in significance makes a great difference

b : to form the essential being of clothes make the man

c : to form by an assembling of individuals make a quorum

d : to count as that makes the third time you've said it

18a : to be or be capable of being changed or fashioned into rags make the best paper

b : to develop into she will make a fine judge

c : form sense 6b

19a : reach, attain made port before the storm often used with it you'll never make it that far

b : to gain the rank of make major

c : to gain a place on or in make the team the story made the papers

d : to succeed in providing or obtaining make bail

20 : to gain (something, such as money) by working, trading, or dealing make a living

21a : to act so as to earn or acquire makes friends easily makes poor grades

b : to score in a game or sport make a field goal make a birdie

c : to convert (a split) into a spare in bowling

d : to succeed in holing make a putt

22a : to fulfill (a contract) in a card game

b : to win a trick (see trick entry 1 sense 4) with (a card)

23a : to include in a route or itinerary make New York on the return trip often used with it make it to the party

b : catch sense 6b made the bus just in time

24 : to persuade to consent to sexual intercourse : seduce

25 : to provide the most enjoyable or satisfying experience of meeting the star of the show really made our day

intransitive verb

1 archaic : to compose poetry

2a : behave, act Don't make as if you didn't hear me.

b : to begin or seem to begin a certain action made as though to hand it to me

c : to act so as to be or to seem to be make merry

d slang : to play a part usually used with like make like a chicken

3 : set out, head made after the fox made straight for home

4 : to increase in height or size the tide is making now

5 : to reach or extend in a certain direction The forest makes up nearly to the snow line.

6 : to have considerable effect courtesy makes for safer driving

7 : to undergo manufacture or processing the silk makes up beautifully

make a face or make faces

: to distort one's features : grimace He made a face when I mentioned her name.

make a mountain out of a molehill

: to treat a trifling matter as of great importance

make away with

1 : to carry off : steal made away with all the money

2 : kill

make believe

: pretend, feign made believe that everything was all right

make bold

: venture, dare making bold to think of himself as a guardian of culture— W. H. Pritchard

make book

: to accept bets at calculated odds on all the entrants in a race or contest a bartender who made book on the side

make common cause

: to unite to achieve a shared goal attempted to make common cause with the radicals in areas they could agree on

make do

: to get along or manage with the means at hand will just have to make do with what we've got

make ends meet

: to make one's means adequate to one's needs did all they could do to make ends meet

make eyes

: ogle Some guy was making eyes at her from across the room.

make friends with

: to establish a friendship or friendly relations with made friends with his new neighbors

make fun of

: to make an object of amusement or laughter : ridicule, mock the movie made fun of macho pretensions— Pauline Kael

make good

1 or make good on : to make valid or complete: such as

a : to make up for (a deficiency) made good previous neglect of his child

b : indemnify make good the loss

c : to carry out successfully made good their escape made good on his promise

d : prove made good a charge

2 : to prove to be capable also : succeed The play made good at the box office.

make hay

: to make use of a situation or circumstance especially in order to gain an advantage The candidate made hay of his opponent's scandalous behavior.

make head

1 : to make progress especially against resistance they made head against the wind— Charles Dickens

2 : to rise in armed revolt riflemen who … were called on to make head against a series of resolute efforts to drive them from Kentucky— Theodore Roosevelt

make it

1a : to be successful trying to make it in the big time as a fashion photographer— Joe Kane

b : to be satisfactory or pleasing if it isn't danceable, it doesn't make it for me— Judy Hyman

2 : to have sexual intercourse

3 : survive, live half the cubs won't make it through their first year

make light of

: to treat as of little account all these problems are humorously described but never made light of— Susan Kenney

make love

1 : woo, court

2a : neck, pet

b : to engage in sexual intercourse

make much of

1 : to treat as of importance The drill sergeant made much of his toughness.

2 : to treat with obvious affection or special consideration she had evidently enjoyed being made much of in YoungstownNew Yorker

make nice

: to be deliberately and often insincerely polite and agreeable must make nice to politicians they cannot stand— Ken Auletta

make no bones

: to be straightforward, unhesitating, or sure makes no bones about the seriousness of the matter

make one's mark

: to achieve success or fame made his mark as a literary critic— Eric Partridge

make public

: disclose None of those disagreements were made public.

make sail

1 : to raise or spread sail

2 : to set out on a voyage The ship made sail at midnight.

make shift

: to manage with difficulty We didn't have much money, but we made shift.

make sport of

: ridicule, mock it visibly grieved him when the rest of us made sport of our schoolmates— Tobias Wolff

make the grade

: to measure up to some standard : be successful clever and energetic enough to make the grade in a good law firm— John Train

make the most of

: to show or use to the best advantage made the most of her talents

make the scene

: to be present at or participate in a usually specified activity or event small time poets just making the scene at readings or in little mags— B. Frazer

make time

1 : to travel fast made fast time

2 : to gain time have to make time to get to the bank before it closes

3 : to make progress toward winning favor trying to make time with the waitress

make tracks

1 : to proceed at a walk or run

2 : to go in a hurry : run away, flee she quickly made tracks for New YorkGlamour

make use of

: to put to use : employ Students made good use of the new gymnasium.

make water

1 of a boat : leak

2 : urinate

make waves

: to create a stir or disturbance continues to make waves with his unique, highly opinionated approach— Suzanne Biallot

make way

1 : to give room for passing, entering, or occupying many of the old villas were being torn down to make way for high rises— William Murray

2 : to make progress

make with

slang : produce, perform usually used with the Straighten up and walk … make with the feet— Raymond Chandler



Definition of make (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : the manner or style in which a thing is constructed

b : brand sense 4a

2 : the physical, mental, or moral constitution of a person men of his make are rare

3a : the action of producing or manufacturing

b : the actual yield or amount produced over a specified period : output

4 : the act of shuffling cards also : turn to shuffle

on the make

1 : in the process of forming, growing, or improving

2 : in quest of a higher social or financial status

3 : in search of sexual adventure

Keep scrolling for more

Choose the Right Synonym for make


make, form, and manufacture mean to cause to come into being. make is a word that can be used of many kinds of creation. She knows how to make a chair. They made many friends. form is used when the thing brought into being has a design or structure. The colonies formed a new nation. manufacture is used for the act of making something in a fixed way and usually by machinery. The company manufactures cars.

Examples of make in a Sentence


He works in a factory that makes jet engines. She made the curtains herself. He collected wood to make a fire. She used cheese and a mixture of other ingredients to make a delicious sauce. Someone was making a disturbance. The car's engine has been making a strange noise lately. The rock made a dent in the car's fender. I'm not trying to make trouble. The typist made a mistake. I called the doctor's office to make an appointment.


“What make of car is that?” “I think it's a Ford.”
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Houghton said he and the other riders are asking management to make sure there are adequate safety policies in place, not only during live racing, but also during morning training hours. Dennis Manoloff,, "Kentucky Derby 2018: Post positions for Triple Crown race at Churchill Downs," 1 May 2018 What if a personal appearance choice is referenced to make a point about an individual’s behavior? Tony Bravo, San Francisco Chronicle, "There’s a difference between shade, eyeshadow and shaming," 1 May 2018 Conservatives had to pinch themselves to make sure this was really happening. Dahleen Glanton,, "Conservatives may be misreading Kanye West and his pro-Trump tweets," 1 May 2018 Not only are users in love with the fast, reliable shipping (especially for Prime members), but the multitude of real buyer reviews is one the easiest ways to make an informed purchase. Allure, "The 18 Most Popular Beauty Products On Amazon," 1 May 2018 Would Riley be willing to make things work to finally get his whale? Jordan Mcpherson, miamiherald, "Pat Riley's possible Heat dilemma: Balancing continuity with going 'all-in' on a star | Miami Herald," 1 May 2018 Self-described as whimsically macabre, the brewery’s ethos reminds patrons to make the most of their time on Earth. Jennifer Mcclellan, azcentral, "31 new restaurants opened in Phoenix in April, chains and independents," 1 May 2018 Mitch has the authority to make all the decisions relative to basketball. Rick Bonnell, charlotteobserver, "Expectations for next Hornets’ coach? Team wants to see improvement in one key area. | Charlotte Observer," 1 May 2018 Pappoe is set to make his decision between Auburn, Georgia and Tennessee. Tom Green,, "Decision Day for 5-star linebacker Owen Pappoe and 4-star offensive tackle Wanya Morris," 1 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Since Scalia expounding in a lecture — entertaining as that might be — does not a play make, Strand imagines that Scalia has knowingly hired a young, lesbian law clerk, Cat, played here by Jade Wheeler. Chris Jones,, "'The Originalist' at Court Theatre has a tricky job in portraying Antonin Scalia," 21 May 2018 Steenburgen revels in small-talk in the make-up trailer, the camaraderie of working on a series and the way the sky looks at 4:30 a.m. on the way to a set. Jeffrey Fleishman,, "Mary Steenburgen knows how to coax a laugh but is equally at home with the dark side," 11 May 2018 The Equal Opportunity Schools program is particularly interested in ensuring the make-up of students who take Advanced Placement courses reflects the school's overall racial and economic diversity, according to a news release. Emily K. Coleman, Lake County News-Sun, "Waukegan High School looks to expand AP offerings to more students," 6 May 2018 The sheriff's department did not release the make and model of Lee's motorcycle. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Woman accused of stabbing husband, then stabbing her husband's motorcycle," 4 July 2018 Plus, bikes seemed like an unfairly visible signifier—would the academics have pinned neighborhood changes on the male drivers of a particular make and model of car, for example? Alissa Walker, Curbed, "People are not defined by what we use to get around," 27 June 2018 Interviews with more than two dozen Virginians present a portrait of Mr. Stewart as a conservative politician-on-the-make turned Trumpian agitator thirsty for cable television bookings. New York Times, "Corey Stewart, Virginia Senate Nominee, Evokes Trump on Racial Issues," 17 June 2018 Probably, with the re-make of Top Gun, the model will see a further boost in popularity. Bloomberg, Fortune, "These $500 Ray-Ban Aviators Are Plated in 24K Gold," 16 June 2018 Or ARKit could identify a specific make and model of a car in the real world, and place a representation of the car’s name and specifications near its location in the user’s view. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "How ARKit 2 works, and why Apple is so focused on AR," 16 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'make.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of make


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for make


Middle English, from Old English macian; akin to Old High German mahhōn to prepare, make, Greek magēnai to be kneaded, Old Church Slavonic mazati to anoint, smear


see make entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about make

Statistics for make

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for make

The first known use of make was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for make


\ˈmāk \
made\ˈmād \; making

Kids Definition of make

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to form or put together out of material or parts Do you know how to make a dress?

2 : to cause to exist or occur Don't make trouble. It makes a funny noise.

3 : to prepare food or drink She made breakfast for us.

4 : to cause to be or become Your visit made them happy.

5 : compel sense 1 Grandma will make them go to bed.

6 : to arrange the blankets and sheets on (a bed) so that the mattress is covered

7 : to combine to produce Two and two make four.

8 : get sense 1, gain We made a profit on the sale. Does she make friends easily?

9 : reach entry 1 sense 2 We made it home.

10 : do entry 1 sense 1, perform I'm making a speech. He made a gesture.

11 : to act so as to be Make sure you have your toothbrush.

make believe

: to act as if something known to be imaginary is real or true

make fun of

: to cause to be the target of laughter in an unkind way

make good

: fulfill sense 1, complete I made good my promise.

make out

1 : to write out I'll make out a list.

2 : understand sense 1 I can't make out what this says.

3 : identify sense 1 I can't make out who it is.

4 : fare entry 1 How did you make out on your tests?

make up

1 : to create from the imagination He made up a story.

2 : form entry 2 sense 3, compose Eleven players make up the team.

3 : to do something to correct or repay a wrong Volunteer work made up for their mischief.

4 : to become friendly again They quarreled but later made up.

5 : to put on makeup

6 : decide sense 1 I've finally made up my mind.

Other Words from make

maker \ˈmā-​kər \ noun



Kids Definition of make (Entry 2 of 2)

: brand entry 1 sense 2 What make of car did you buy?

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on make

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with make

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for make

Spanish Central: Translation of make

Nglish: Translation of make for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of make for Arabic Speakers

Comments on make

What made you want to look up make? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!