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Idioms about make

Origin of make

First recorded before 900; Middle English maken, macke, Old English macian; cognate with Low German, Dutch maken, German machen

synonym study for make

1. Make, construct, manufacture mean to produce, to put into definite form, or to put parts together to make a whole. Make is the general term: Bees make wax. Construct, more formal, means to put parts together, usually according to a plan or design: to construct a building. Manufacture usually refers to producing something from material that requires conversion from one state or condition to another, now almost entirely by means of machinery in a relatively complex process: to manufacture automobiles by the assembly of different parts. The term is also often used contemptuously of unimaginative or hackneyed works of art with the implication that the work was produced mechanically, and is used abstractly with the idea of denying genuineness: to manufacture an excuse.


mak·a·ble, adjective

Other definitions for make (2 of 2)

[ meyk ]
/ meɪk /

noun British Dialect.
a peer or equal.
a spouse, mate, consort, or lover.
a friend; companion.

Origin of make

First recorded before 1000; Middle English mak, make, Old English gemaca; akin to Old High German kamahho “ally,” Old Icelandic maki “spouse, mate”; see match2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What is a basic definition of make?

Make means to create, to force, or to cause to happen. Make has many other senses as a verb and a noun. The word make is used in a huge amount of idioms, as well.

If you make something, you are building it or bringing it into existence. It is possible to make both physical things (breakfast, a snowman, etc.) and nonphysical things (a deal, a promise, etc.). People make things by combining parts or ingredients, shaping materials, or triggering them to happen through their actions. Someone who makes something is its maker.

  • Real-life examples: Bakers make bread and pastries. Politicians make laws. Children often make a mess. Painters and sculptors make works of art.
  • Used in a sentence: She made a deal with him that they would split the rent evenly.

If you make someone do something, you force them to do it.

  • Real-life examples: Parents make their children go to school. Our country makes us pay taxes. You might make your dog behave.
  • Used in a sentence: I made Rick apologize to Emily for eating her lunch. 

Make can also mean to cause something to occur. If a person makes something happen, they might not have directly done the work but they are the reason that it happened. For example, you might make someone smile by giving them a gift. While the gift may be the true source of joy, you are the person who caused them to smile by giving it to them.

  • Used in a sentence: The thunderstorm made us decide to reschedule the picnic.

Where does make come from?

The first records of make come from before the 900s. It comes from the Old English verb macian and is related to the Dutch maken and the German machen.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to make?

  • maker (noun)
  • makable (adjective)
  • makeless (adjective)

What are some synonyms for make?

What are some words that share a root or word element with make

What are some words that often get used in discussing make?

How is make used in real life?

Make is a very common word that often means to create something.

Try using make!

Which of the following words is NOT a synonym of make?

A. create
B. build
C. produce
D. destroy

How to use make in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for make (1 of 2)

/ (meɪk) /

verb makes, making or made (mainly tr)

Derived forms of make

makable, adjective

Word Origin for make

Old English macian; related to Old Frisian makia to construct, Dutch maken, German machen to make

British Dictionary definitions for make (2 of 2)

/ (meɪk) /

noun archaic
a peer or consort
a mate or spouse

Derived forms of make

makeless, adjective

Word Origin for make

Old English gemaca mate; related to match 1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Other Idioms and Phrases with make


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.