1

make

play
verb \ ˈmāk \

Definition of make

made play \ˈmād\; making
transitive verb
1 a obsolete :behave, act
b :to begin or seem to begin (an action)
  • made to go
2 a :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
3 a :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
6 a :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
7 a :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
9 a :to cause to be or become
  • made them happy
  • makes it possible
b :appoint
  • made him bishop
10 a :enact, establish
  • make laws
b :to execute (see execute 2) in an appropriate manner
  • make a will
c :set, name
  • make a price
11 a chiefly dialectal :shut
  • the doors are made against you
  • —William Shakespeare
b :to cause (an electric circuit) to be completed
12 a :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
13 a :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
14 a :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
17 a :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
18 a :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 6b
19 a :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
21 a :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
22 a :to fulfill (a contract) in a card game
b :to win a trick (see 1trick 4) with (a card)
23 a :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 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
2 a :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
1 a :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
2 a :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 Youngstown
  • New 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 York
  • Glamour
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

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


2

make

noun

Definition of make

1 a :the manner or style in which a thing is constructed
b :brand 4a
2 :the physical, mental, or moral constitution of a person
  • men of his make are rare
3 a :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

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

1

make

play
verb \ ˈmāk \

Definition of make for Students

made \ˈmād\; making
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 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 1, gain
  • We made a profit on the sale.
  • Does she make friends easily?
9 :1reach 2
  • We made it home.
10 :1do 1, perform
  • I'm making a speech.
  • He made a gesture.
11 :to act so as to be
  • Make sure you have your toothbrush.

maker

\ˈmā-kər\ noun
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 1, complete
  • I made good my promise.
make out
1 :to write out
  • I'll make out a list.
2 :understand 1
  • I can't make out what this says.
3 :identify 1
  • I can't make out who it is.
4 :1fare
  • How did you make out on your tests?
make up
1 :to create from the imagination
  • He made up a story.
2 :2form 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 1
  • I've finally made up my mind.

Synonym Discussion of 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.

2

make

noun

Definition of make for Students

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


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