verb \ˈmāk\

Definition of make


play \ˈmād\


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

  3. 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>

  4. 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>

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

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

  7. 6 a :  to compute or estimate to be b :  to form and hold in the mind <make no doubt of it>

  8. 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

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

  10. 9 a :  to cause to be or become <made them happy> <makes it possible> b :  appoint <made him bishop>

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

  12. 11 a chiefly dialect :  shut <the doors are made against you — Shakespeare> b :  to cause (an electric circuit) to be completed

  13. 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>

  14. 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>

  15. 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

  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. 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>

  19. 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

  20. 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>

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

  22. 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>

  23. 22 a :  to fulfill (a contract) in a card game b :  to win a trick with (a card)

  24. 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>

  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. 2 a :  behave, act 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

  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

  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

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

  2. 2 :  kill

make believe

make bold

make book

  1. :  to accept bets at calculated odds on all the entrants in a race or contest

make common cause

  1. :  to unite to achieve a shared goal

make do

  1. :  to get along or manage with the means at hand

make ends meet

  1. :  to make one's means adequate to one's needs

make eyes

  1. :  ogle

make friends with

  1. :  to establish a friendship or friendly relations with

make fun of

  1. :  to make an object of amusement or laughter :  ridicule, mock

make good

  1. 1 or make good on :  to make valid or complete: as a :  to make up for (a deficiency) 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

make hay

  1. :  to make use of a situation or circumstance especially in order to gain an advantage

make head

  1. 1 :  to make progress especially against resistance

  2. 2 :  to rise in armed revolt

make it

  1. 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. 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

make love

  1. 1 :  woo, court

  2. 2 a :  neck, pet b :  to engage in sexual intercourse

make much of

  1. 1 :  to treat as of importance

  2. 2 :  to treat with obvious affection or special consideration

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

make public

make sail

  1. 1 :  to raise or spread sail

  2. 2 :  to set out on a voyage

make shift

  1. :  to manage with difficulty

make sport of

make the grade

  1. :  to measure up to some standard :  be successful

make the most of

  1. :  to show or use to the best advantage

make the scene

  1. :  to be present at or participate in a usually specified activity or event

make time

  1. 1 :  to travel fast

  2. 2 :  to gain time

  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

make use of

  1. :  to put to use :  employ

make water

  1. 1 of a boat :  leak

  2. 2 :  urinate

make waves

  1. :  to create a stir or disturbance

make way

  1. 1 :  to give room for passing, entering, or occupying

  2. 2 :  to make progress

make with

  1. slang :  produce, perform —usually used with the

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 Slavic mazati to anoint, smear

First Known Use: before 12th century




Definition of make

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

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

  3. 3 a :  the action of producing or manufacturing b :  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.

14th Century

First Known Use of make

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).


very important or noticeable

Get Word of the Day daily email!


Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • alphabet-magnets
  • Which is the correct spelling?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


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