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 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>

  4. 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>

  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 beds>c :  prepare, fix <make dinner>d :  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 possible>b :  appoint <made him bishop>

  11. 10a :  enact, establish <make laws>b :  to execute (see execute 2) in an appropriate manner <make a will>c :  set, name <make a price>

  12. 11a chiefly dialectal :  shut <the doors are made against you — William Shakespeare>b :  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 detour>b :  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 it>b 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 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>

  19. 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 6b

  20. 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>

  21. 20 :  to gain (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 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 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 party>b :  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 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>

  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 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. 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 Kane>b :  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.

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

First Known Use: before 12th century




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.

Origin and Etymology of make

see 1make

First Known Use: 14th century

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?>

Seen and Heard

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


related through a mother

Get Word of the Day daily email!


Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • m-ws-new-words-quiz
  • Which word means "inability to recognize faces"?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


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