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make verb (made , making) 1 to form, create, manufacture or produce something by mixing, combining or shaping materials make the tea made me a cake. 2 to cause, bring about or create something by one's actions, etc He's always making trouble I don't make the rules It makes no difference. 3 to force, induce or cause someone to do something Please don't make me go He makes me laugh. 4 (often make something or someone into something) to cause it or them to change into something else; to transform or convert it or them made the barn into a cottage. 5 to cause something or someone to be, do or become a specified thing made me cross made my head ache. 6 to be capable of turning or developing into or serving as (a specified thing); to have or to develop the appropriate qualities for something I make a terrible patient He will make a wonderful father He'll never make a salesman This box makes a good table. 7 (always make someone something) to appoint them as something They made her deputy head. 8 (also make someone or something into something) to cause them or it to appear to be, or to represent them or it as being (a specified thing) Long hair makes her look younger The course made them into effective sales reps. 9 to gain, earn or acquire something makes £400 a week Did you make a profit? He made a fortune but no friends made his name. 10 to add up to or amount to something; to constitute 4 and 4 makes 8 The book makes interesting reading will make a nice change. 11 to calculate, judge or estimate something to be (a specified thing) I make it three o'clock He made the total £28.70. 12 to arrive at or reach something; to succeed in achieving, reaching or gaining it should make the summit by midday can't make the party. 13 to score or win (points, runs, card tricks, etc). 14 to tidy (a bed) after use by smoothing out and tucking in the sheets, rearranging the duvet, etc. 15 to bring about or ensure the success of something; to cap or complete something It made my day Those curtains really make this room. 16 to propose something or propose something to someone make an offer make me an offer. 17 to engage in something; to perform, carry out or produce something make war make a speech make a decision. noun 1 a manufacturer's brand What make of car is it? 2 technical the act, practice or process of making or manufacturing. 3 applied to a physical object, a person's body, etc: structure, type or build; the way in which it is made. 4 applied to an immaterial thing: disposition or character; manner. makable adj. make as if or as though, or (US) make like something or make like to do something 1 to act or behave in a specified way She made as if to leave. 2 to pretend to be or do something He made as if he hadn't heard He was making like a gorilla. make do colloq to manage or get by always having to make do. make do without something colloq to manage without it. make do with something colloq to manage with, or make the best use, of a second or inferior choice I've run out of butter, so you'll have to make do with margarine. See also make-do under makeshift. make head or tail or head nor tail of something with negatives and in questions to make any sense of it; to understand it I can't make head or tail of this rota. make it colloq 1 to be successful to make it in show business. 2 to survive is so badly injured he might not make it. make it up to someone to compensate or repay them for difficulties, inconvenience, etc which they have experienced on one's account, or for kindness, generosity, etc which they have shown to one. Compare make up to someone below. make it with someone coarse slang to have sexual intercourse with them. make like something see make as if above. make or break something or someone to be the crucial test that brings it or them either success or failure The takeover will either make or break the company. See also make-or-break. make to do something to show an intention of doing it; to make an attempt or start to do it He made to stand up, but changed his mind. make up one's mind see under mind. on the make colloq said of a person:. 1 seeking a large or illegal personal profit. 2 slang looking for a sexual partner.
ETYMOLOGY: Anglo-Saxon macian.
make after someone or something to follow or pursue them or it.
make away with someone to kill them.
make away with something see make off or away with something below.
make for something to bring it about; to have it as a specific result Fine weather makes for an enjoyable holiday.
make for something or someone to go towards it or them, especially rapidly, purposefully or suddenly.
make of something or someone to understand by it or them What do you make of their comments? They did not know what to make of us.
make something of something to construct it from (a material, etc).
make off to leave, especially in a hurry or secretly.
make off or away with something or someone to run off with it or them; to steal or kidnap it or them The thief made off with my bag.
make out 1 colloq to progress or get along How did you make out in the exam? 2 colloq, chiefly N Amer to manage, succeed or survive It's been tough, but we'll make out. 3 colloq, especially N Amer to caress and fondle, snog or make love They were making out in the back seat.
make out something or that something to pretend or claim that it is so He made out that he was ill.
make out something or make something out 1 to begin to discern it, especially to see or hear it I could just make out a vague figure in the distance. 2 to write or fill in a document, etc made out a cheque for £20.
make something or someone out to be something to portray them, or cause them to seem to be, what they are not They made us out to be liars.
make over something or make something over 1 to transfer ownership of it made over my shares to her when I retired. 2 N Amer, especially US to convert or alter it. See also makeover.
make up something to assemble (text, illustration, etc) into (columns or pages).
make up for something to compensate or serve as an apology for it.
make up to someone colloq to seek their friendship or favour; to flirt with them.
make up with someone to resolve a disagreement with someone.
make someone up to apply cosmetics to their face.
make something up 1 to fabricate or invent it made up the story. 2 to prepare or assemble it. 3 to constitute it; to be the parts of it The three villages together make up a district. 4 to form the final element in something; to complete it another player to make up the team. 5 to settle (disagreements, etc) We made up our quarrel.
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