\ ˈmāk How to pronounce make (audio) \
made\ ˈmād How to pronounce made (audio) \; 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
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
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

That gives their appearances a make-or-break, nothing-to-lose sort of vibe. Wired, "What to Look for in CNN's 'Climate Crisis' Town Hall Tonight," 4 Sep. 2019 Since only six candidates have met the doubly high thresholds to qualify for the next round of debates, the July debate is a make-or-break moment for many remaining contenders. Madeleine Joung, Time, "The Second 2020 Democratic Debate Is Almost Here. Here’s Everything You Need to Know," 28 July 2019 The former special counsel is in Washington today for a pair of blockbuster congressional hearings that could serve as a make-or-break moment for Democratic leaders deciding whether to pursue an impeachment inquiry. Aj Willingham, CNN, "5 things to know for July 24: Mueller, UK Prime Minister, Puerto Rico, ICE, sonic attacks," 24 July 2019 The debates could be a make-or-break moment for low-polling candidates. Aamer Madhani, USA TODAY, "Here are the candidates who will be on stage for the second 2020 Democratic debate," 17 July 2019 For Gillibrand, the debate could be a make or break moment as she's struggled to make inroads in polls and fundraising. Laurie Kellman,, "What to watch for on debate night 2: Biden, Bernie and other stars take the stage," 27 June 2019 In response, housing advocates had circled 2019 as a make-or-break year. Alden Woods, azcentral, "You need to work 71 hours a week to afford a 2-bedroom home in Arizona, a new report says," 19 June 2019 The Detroit Lions enter what many believe to be a make-or-break season for head coach Matt Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn. Greg Levinsky, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Lions making the playoffs this year? Chances at under 20%," 17 June 2019 The debate is likely a make-or-break time for any chance Ryan has at gaining any momentum., "Tim Ryan qualifies for first Democratic presidential debates," 13 June 2019

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

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

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 How to pronounce make (audio) \
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).


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


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!