make

1 of 2

verb

made ˈmād How to pronounce make (audio) ; making; makes

transitive verb

1
a
: to bring into being by forming, shaping, or altering material : fashion
make a dress
b
: to lay out and construct
make a road
c
: compose, write
make verses
2
: to put together from components : constitute
houses made of stone
3
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
4
a
: enact, establish
make laws
b
: to execute (see execute sense 2) in an appropriate manner
make a will
c
: set, name
make a price
5
a
: to cause to be or become
made them happy
makes it possible
b
: appoint
made him bishop
6
: to cause to act in a certain way : compel
make her give it back
7
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
8
: to frame or formulate in the mind
make plans
9
a
: to set in order
make beds
b
: prepare, fix
make dinner
c
: to assemble and set alight the materials for (a fire)
d
: to shuffle (a deck of cards) in preparation for dealing
10
a
: to amount to in significance
makes a great difference
b
: to count as
that makes the third time you've said it
c
: to form the essential being of
clothes make the man
d
: to form by an assembling of individuals
make a quorum
11
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
12
a
: reach, attain
made port before the storm
often used with it
you'll never make it that far
b
: to gain a place on or in
make the team
the story made the papers
c
: to gain the rank of
make major
d
: to succeed in providing or obtaining
make bail
13
: to gain (something, such as money) by working, trading, or dealing
make a living
14
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
15
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
16
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
17
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 sense 6b
made the bus just in time
18
: to cause or assure the success or prosperity of
can either make you or break you
19
: to provide the most enjoyable or satisfying experience of
meeting the star of the show really made our day
20
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
21
a
: to begin or seem to begin (an action)
made to go
b
obsolete : behave, act
22
a
: to fulfill (a contract) in a card game
b
: to win a trick (see trick entry 1 sense 4) with (a card)
23
: to prepare (hay) by cutting, drying, and storing
24
a
: to cause (an electric circuit) to be completed
b
chiefly dialectal : shut
the doors are made against youWilliam Shakespeare
25
: to persuade to consent to sexual intercourse : seduce

intransitive verb

1
: to have considerable effect
courtesy makes for safer driving
2
: set out, head
made after the fox
made straight for home
3
a
: to begin or seem to begin a certain action
made as though to hand it to me
b
: to act so as to be or to seem to be
make merry
c
: behave, act
Don't make as if you didn't hear me.
d
slang : to play a part
usually used with like
make like a chicken
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 undergo manufacture or processing
the silk makes up beautifully
7
archaic : to compose poetry

make

2 of 2

noun

1
b
: the manner or style in which a thing is constructed
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
Phrases
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 cultureW. 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 pretensionsPauline Kael
make good
1
or make good on : to make valid or complete: such as
a
: to carry out successfully
made good their escape
made good on his promise
b
: indemnify
make good the loss
c
: to make up for (a deficiency)
made good previous neglect of his child
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 windCharles 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 KentuckyTheodore Roosevelt
make it
1
: survive, live
half the cubs won't make it through their first year
2
a
: to be successful
trying to make it in the big time as a fashion photographerJoe Kane
b
: to be satisfactory or pleasing
if it isn't danceable, it doesn't make it for meJudy Hyman
3
: to have sexual intercourse
make light of
: to treat as of little account
all these problems are humorously described but never made light ofSusan Kenney
make love
1
a
: to engage in sexual intercourse
b
: neck, pet
2
: woo, court
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 standKen 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 criticEric Partridge
make public
: disclose
None of those disagreements were made public.
make sail
1
: to set out on a voyage
The ship made sail at midnight.
2
: to raise or spread sail
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 schoolmatesTobias Wolff
make the grade
: to measure up to some standard : be successful
clever and energetic enough to make the grade in a good law firmJohn 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 magsB. 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 go in a hurry : run away, flee
she quickly made tracks for New YorkGlamour
2
: to proceed at a walk or run
make use of
: to put to use : employ
Students made good use of the new gymnasium.
make water
1
of a boat : leak
2
make waves
: to create a stir or disturbance
continues to make waves with his unique, highly opinionated approachSuzanne 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 risesWilliam Murray
2
: to make progress
make with
slang : produce, perform
usually used with the
Straighten up and walk … make with the feetRaymond Chandler
on the make
1
: in quest of a higher social or financial status
2
: in search of sexual adventure
3
: in the process of forming, growing, or improving

Examples of make in a Sentence

Verb 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. Noun “What make of car is that?” “I think it's a Ford.”
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
But the major political parties have rules in place to make the process as smooth as possible. Sarah D. Wire, USA TODAY, 18 July 2024 And the president continues to make advancing new gun control legislation, including reinstating his 1994 ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, a core pillar of his reelection bid. Christian Datoc, Washington Examiner - Political News and Conservative Analysis About Congress, the President, and the Federal Government, 18 July 2024
Noun
Listen to this article Loading your audio article PITTSBURGH — What a difference a closer makes. Abbey Mastracco, New York Daily News, 6 July 2024 And yes, this may mean a much older car, or a second- or third-choice make, model or color. Michelle Singletary, Washington Post, 5 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for make 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'make.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Verb and Noun

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

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 21b

Noun

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near make

Cite this Entry

“Make.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/make. Accessed 25 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

make

1 of 2 verb
made ˈmād How to pronounce make (audio) ; making
1
a
: to begin or seem to begin an action
she made as if to go
b
: to act so as to appear
make merry
2
a
: to cause to exist or occur : create
make a noise
make trouble
b
: to create for some purpose or goal
she was made to be a surgeon
3
a
: to form or shape out of material or parts : fashion, construct
make a dress
make a chair
b
: to combine to produce
2 and 2 make 4
4
: to frame in the mind
make plans
5
: to put together from parts
houses made of stone
6
: to estimate to be : compute
I make it an even $5
7
a
: to set in order
make a bed
b
: prepare, fix
make dinner
8
: to cut and spread for drying
make hay
9
a
: to cause to be or become
made herself useful
b
: appoint
made him her assistant
10
a
: enact sense 1, establish
make laws
b
: to prepare in an appropriate manner
make a will
11
a
: understand sense 1a
unable to make anything of the story
b
: to regard as being : consider
he is not the fool you make him
12
: do entry 1 sense 1a, perform
make war
make a bow
13
: to produce or acquire by or as if by action or effort
made a mess of the job
make good money
make friends
14
: to force to act in some manner
made her return home
15
: to cause or assure the success of
the first case made the new lawyer
16
: to develop into
she will make a fine judge
17
a
: reach entry 1 sense 2c, attain
the ship makes port tonight
he made corporal in 10 months
they made it to the other side of the bridge
b
: to gain a place on or in
made the track team
the story made the papers
18
: catch entry 1 sense 7b
make the train
19
: to set out in pursuit
made after the fox
20
: to provide the most satisfying experience of
meeting the star of the show really made our day

make

2 of 2 noun
1
: the way in which a thing is made : structure
2
: a particular kind of manufactured goods : brand
looked at several makes of car before deciding

More from Merriam-Webster on make

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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