verb \ˈmāk\

Definition of make


play \ˈmād\;


  1. transitive verb
  2. 1a obsolete :  behave, actb :  to begin or seem to begin (an action) made to go

  3. 2a :  to cause to happen to or be experienced by someone made trouble for usb :  to cause to exist, occur, or appear :  create make a disturbancec :  to favor the growth or occurrence of haste makes wasted :  to fit, intend, or destine by or as if by creating was made to be an actor

  4. 3a :  to bring into being by forming, shaping, or altering material :  fashion make a dressb :  compose, write make versesc :  to lay out and construct make a road

  5. 4 :  to frame or formulate in the mind make plans

  6. 5 :  to put together from components :  constitute houses made of stone

  7. 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

  8. 7a :  to assemble and set alight the materials for (a fire)b :  to set in order make bedsc :  prepare, fix make dinnerd :  to shuffle (a deck of cards) in preparation for dealing

  9. 8 :  to prepare (hay) by cutting, drying, and storing

  10. 9a :  to cause to be or become made them happy makes it possibleb :  appoint made him bishop

  11. 10a :  enact, establish make lawsb :  to execute (see execute 2) in an appropriate manner make a willc :  set, name make a price

  12. 11a chiefly dialectal :  shut the doors are made against you — William Shakespeareb :  to cause (an electric circuit) to be completed

  13. 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

  14. 13a :  to carry out (an action indicated or implied by the object) make war make a speech make a detourb :  to perform with a bodily movement make a sweeping gesture

  15. 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 itb archaic :  to turn into another language by translation

  16. 15 :  to cause to act in a certain way :  compel make her give it back

  17. 16 :  to cause or assure the success or prosperity of can either make you or break you

  18. 17a :  to amount to in significance makes a great differenceb :  to form the essential being of clothes make the manc :  to form by an assembling of individuals make a quorumd :  to count as that makes the third time you've said it

  19. 18a :  to be or be capable of being changed or fashioned into rags make the best paperb :  to develop into she will make a fine judgec :  form 6b

  20. 19a :  reach, attain made port before the storm —often used with it you'll never make it that farb :  to gain the rank of make majorc :  to gain a place on or in make the team the story made the papersd :  to succeed in providing or obtaining make bail

  21. 20 :  to gain (something, such as money) by working, trading, or dealing make a living

  22. 21a :  to act so as to earn or acquire makes friends easily makes poor gradesb :  to score in a game or sport make a field goal make a birdiec :  to convert (a split) into a spare in bowlingd :  to succeed in holing make a putt

  23. 22a :  to fulfill (a contract) in a card gameb :  to win a trick (see 1trick 4) with (a card)

  24. 23a :  to include in a route or itinerary make New York on the return trip —often used with it make it to the partyb :  catch 6b made the bus just in time

  25. 24 :  to persuade to consent to sexual intercourse :  seduce

  26. 25 :  to provide the most enjoyable or satisfying experience of meeting the star of the show really made our day

  27. intransitive verb
  28. 1 archaic :  to compose poetry

  29. 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 mec :  to act so as to be or to seem to be make merryd slang :  to play a part —usually used with like make like a chicken

  30. 3 :  set out, head made after the fox made straight for home

  31. 4 :  to increase in height or size the tide is making now

  32. 5 :  to reach or extend in a certain direction The forest makes up nearly to the snow line.

  33. 6 :  to have considerable effect courtesy makes for safer driving

  34. 7 :  to undergo manufacture or processing the silk makes up beautifully

make a face


make faces

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

make a mountain out of a molehill

  1. :  to treat a trifling matter as of great importance

make away with

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

  2. 2 :  kill

make believe

  1. :  pretend, feign made believe that everything was all right

make bold

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

make book

  1. :  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

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

make do

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

make ends meet

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

make eyes

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

make friends with

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

make fun of

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

make good

  1. 1 or make good on :  to make valid or complete: such asa :  to make up for (a deficiency) made good previous neglect of his childb :  indemnify make good the lossc :  to carry out successfully made good their escape made good on his promised :  prove made good a charge

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

make hay

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

  2. 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

  1. 1a :  to be successful trying to make it in the big time as a fashion photographer — Joe Kaneb :  to be satisfactory or pleasing if it isn't danceable, it doesn't make it for me — Judy Hyman

  2. 2 :  to have sexual intercourse

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

make light of

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

make love

  1. 1 :  woo, court

  2. 2a :  neck, petb :  to engage in sexual intercourse

make much of

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

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

make nice

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

make no bones

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

make one's mark

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

make public

  1. :  disclose None of those disagreements were made public.

make sail

  1. 1 :  to raise or spread sail

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

make shift

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

make sport of

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

make the grade

  1. :  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

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

make the scene

  1. :  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. 1 :  to travel fast made fast time

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

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

make tracks

  1. 1 :  to proceed at a walk or run

  2. 2 :  to go in a hurry :  run away, flee she quickly made tracks for New York — Glamour

make use of

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

make water

  1. 1 of a boat :  leak

  2. 2 :  urinate

make waves

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

make way

  1. 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. 2 :  to make progress

make with

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

Examples of make in a Sentence

  1. He works in a factory that makes jet engines.

  2. She made the curtains herself.

  3. He collected wood to make a fire.

  4. She used cheese and a mixture of other ingredients to make a delicious sauce.

  5. Someone was making a disturbance.

  6. The car's engine has been making a strange noise lately.

  7. The rock made a dent in the car's fender.

  8. I'm not trying to make trouble.

  9. The typist made a mistake.

  10. I called the doctor's office to make an appointment.

Recent Examples of make from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of 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




Definition of make

  1. 1a :  the manner or style in which a thing is constructedb :  brand 4a

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

  3. 3a :  the action of producing or manufacturingb :  the actual yield or amount produced over a specified period :  output

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

on the make

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

  2. 2 :  in quest of a higher social or financial status

  3. 3 :  in search of sexual adventure

Examples of make in a Sentence

  1. What make of car is that? I think it's a Ford.

Recent Examples of make from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of make

see 1make

MAKE Defined for Kids



verb \ˈmāk\

Definition of make for Students




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  9. 9 :  1reach 2 We made it home.

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

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


\ˈmā-kər\ noun

make believe

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

make fun of

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

make good

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

make out

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

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

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

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

make up

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

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

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

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

  5. 5 :  to put on makeup

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




Definition of make for Students

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

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to relieve or lessen

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