View synonyms for make



[ meyk ]

verb (used with object)

, made, mak·ing.
  1. to bring into existence by shaping or changing material, combining parts, etc.:

    to make a dress; to make a channel; to make a work of art.

    Synonyms: mold, fashion, create, fabricate, produce, build, form

    Antonyms: destroy

  2. to produce; cause to exist or happen; bring about:

    to make trouble; to make war.

  3. to cause to be or become; render:

    to make someone happy.

  4. to appoint or name:

    The president made her his special envoy.

  5. to put in the proper condition or state, as for use; fix; prepare:

    to make a bed; to make dinner.

  6. to bring into a certain form:

    to make bricks out of clay.

  7. to convert from one state, condition, category, etc., to another:

    to make a virtue of one's vices.

    Synonyms: turn, change, transform

  8. to cause, induce, or compel:

    to make a horse jump a barrier.

    Synonyms: force

  9. to give rise to; occasion:

    It's not worth making a fuss over such a trifle.

  10. to produce, earn, or win for oneself:

    to make a good salary; to make one's fortune in oil.

    Synonyms: procure, secure, obtain, acquire, gain, get

  11. to write or compose:

    to make a short poem for the occasion.

  12. to draw up, as a legal document; draft:

    to make a will.

  13. to do; effect:

    to make a bargain.

    Synonyms: perform, execute

  14. to establish or enact; put into existence:

    to make laws.

  15. to become by development; prove to be:

    You'll make a good lawyer.

  16. to form in the mind, as a judgment or estimate:

    to make a decision.

  17. to judge or interpret, as to the truth, nature, meaning, etc. (often followed by of ):

    What do you make of it?

  18. to estimate; reckon:

    to make the distance at ten miles.

    Synonyms: gauge, judge

  19. to bring together separate parts so as to produce a whole; compose; form:

    to make a matched set.

  20. to amount to; bring up the total to:

    Two plus two makes four. That makes an even dozen.

  21. to serve as:

    to make good reading.

  22. to be sufficient to constitute:

    One story does not make a writer.

  23. to be adequate or suitable for:

    This wool will make a warm sweater.

  24. to assure the success or fortune of:

    a deal that could make or break him; Seeing her made my day.

  25. to deliver, utter, or put forth:

    to make a stirring speech.

  26. to go or travel at a particular speed:

    to make 60 miles an hour.

  27. to arrive at or reach; attain:

    The ship made port on Friday. Do you think he'll make 80?

  28. to arrive in time for:

    to make the first show.

  29. to arrive in time to be a passenger on (a plane, boat, bus, train, etc.):

    If you hurry, you can make the next flight.

  30. Informal. to gain or acquire a position within:

    He made the big time.

  31. to receive mention or appear in or on:

    The robbery made the front page.

  32. to gain recognition or honor by winning a place or being chosen for inclusion in or on:

    The novel made the bestseller list. He made the all-American team three years in a row.

  33. Slang. to have sexual intercourse with.
  34. Cards.
    1. to name (the trump).
    2. to take a trick with (a card).
    3. Bridge. to fulfill or achieve (a contract or bid).
    4. to shuffle (the cards).
  35. to earn, as a score:

    The team made 40 points in the first half.

  36. Slang. (especially in police and underworld use)
    1. to recognize or identify:

      Any cop in town will make you as soon as you walk down the street.

    2. to charge or cause to be charged with a crime:

      The police expect to make a couple of suspects soon.

  37. to close (an electric circuit).
  38. South Midland and Southern U.S. to plant and cultivate or produce (a crop):

    He makes some of the best corn in the country.

verb (used without object)

, made, mak·ing.
  1. to cause oneself, or something understood, to be as specified:

    to make sure.

  2. to show oneself to be or seem in action or behavior (usually followed by an adjective):

    to make merry.

  3. to be made, as specified:

    This fabric makes up into beautiful drapes.

  4. to move or proceed in a particular direction:

    They made after the thief.

  5. to rise, as the tide or water in a ship.
  6. South Midland and Southern U.S. (of a crop) to grow, develop, or mature:

    It looks like the corn's going to make pretty good this year.

  7. make down, Chiefly Pennsylvania German. to rain or snow:

    It's making down hard.

  8. make fast, Chiefly Nautical. to fasten or secure.
  9. make shut, Chiefly Pennsylvania German. to close:

    Make the door shut.


  1. the style or manner in which something is made; form; build.

    Synonyms: constitution, construction, structure, shape

  2. production with reference to the manufacturer; brand:

    our own make.

  3. disposition; character; nature.
  4. the act or process of making.
  5. quantity made; output.
  6. Cards. the act of naming the trump, or the suit named as trump.
  7. Electricity. the closing of an electric circuit.
  8. Jewelry. the excellence of a polished diamond with regard to proportion, symmetry, and finish.
  9. Slang. identifying information about a person or thing from police records:

    He radioed headquarters for a make on the car's license plate.

verb phrase

    1. to remodel; alter:

      to make over a dress; to make over a page layout.

    2. to transfer the title of (property); convey:

      After she retired she made over her property to her children and moved to Florida.

  1. Chiefly Pennsylvania German. to turn on, light, or ignite (especially a light or fire):

    Make the light on.

    1. to write out or complete, as a bill or check.
    2. to establish; prove.
    3. to decipher; discern.
    4. to imply, suggest, or impute:

      He made me out to be a liar.

    5. to manage; succeed:

      How are you making out in your new job?

    6. Slang. to engage in kissing and caressing; neck.
    7. Slang. to have sexual intercourse.
    8. Chiefly Pennsylvania German. to turn off or extinguish (especially a light or fire):

      Make the light out.

    1. to run away; depart hastily:

      The only witness to the accident made off before the police arrived.

    2. Nautical. to stand off from a coast, especially a lee shore.
    1. to go toward; approach:

      to make for home.

    2. to lunge at; attack.
    3. to help to promote or maintain:

      This incident will not make for better understanding between the warring factions.

    1. (of parts) to constitute; compose; form.
    2. to put together; construct; compile.
    3. to concoct; invent.
    4. Also make up for. to compensate for; make good.
    5. to complete.
    6. to put in order; arrange:

      The maid will make up the room.

    7. to conclude; decide.
    8. to settle amicably, as differences.
    9. to become reconciled, as after a quarrel.
    10. Printing. to arrange set type, illustrations, etc., into columns or pages.
    11. to dress in appropriate costume and apply cosmetics for a part on the stage.
    12. to apply cosmetics.
    13. to adjust or balance, as accounts; prepare, as statements.
    14. Education. to repeat (a course or examination that one has failed).
    15. Education. to take an examination that one had been unable to take when first given, usually because of absence.
    16. to specify and indicate the layout or arrangement of (columns, pages, etc., of matter to be printed).
    17. Atlantic States. (of the weather or clouds) to develop or gather:

      It's making up for a storm.

    18. Atlantic States. (of the sea) to become turbulent:

      If the sea makes up, row toward land.

    1. Informal. to try to become friendly with; fawn on.
    2. to make advances to; flirt with:

      He makes up to every new woman in the office.

  2. to carry away; steal:

    While the family was away, thieves made off with most of their valuables.



[ meyk ]


, British Dialect.
  1. a peer or equal.
  2. a spouse, mate, consort, or lover.
  3. a friend; companion.



/ meɪk /


  1. to bring into being by shaping, changing, or combining materials, ideas, etc; form or fashion; create

    make a poem

    to make a chair from bits of wood

  2. to draw up, establish, or form

    make one's will

    to make a decision

  3. to cause to exist, bring about, or produce

    don't make a noise

  4. to cause, compel, or induce

    please make him go away

  5. to appoint or assign, as to a rank or position

    they made him chairman

  6. to constitute

    one swallow doesn't make a summer

  7. also intr to come or cause to come into a specified state or condition

    to make merry

    make someone happy

  8. copula to be or become through development

    he will make a good teacher

  9. to cause or ensure the success of

    your news has made my day

  10. to amount to

    twelve inches make a foot

  11. to be part of or a member of

    did she make one of the party?

  12. to serve as or be suitable for

    that piece of cloth will make a coat

  13. to prepare or put into a fit condition for use

    to make a bed

  14. to be the essential element in or part of

    charm makes a good salesman

  15. to carry out, effect, or do

    to make a gesture

  16. intr; foll by to, as if to, or as though to to act with the intention or with a show of doing something

    they made to go out

    he made as if to hit her

  17. to use for a specified purpose

    I will make this town my base

  18. to deliver or pronounce

    to make a speech

  19. to judge, reckon, or give one's own opinion or information as to

    what time do you make it?

  20. to cause to seem or represent as being

    that furniture makes the room look dark

  21. to earn, acquire, or win for oneself

    to make friends

    make a fortune

  22. to engage in

    make love not war

  23. to traverse or cover (distance) by travelling

    we can make a hundred miles by nightfall

  24. to arrive in time for

    he didn't make the first act of the play

  25. cards
    1. to win a trick with (a specified card)
    2. to shuffle (the cards)
    3. bridge to fulfil (a contract) by winning the necessary number of tricks
  26. cricket to score (runs)
  27. electronics to close (a circuit) permitting a flow of current Compare break
  28. intr to increase in depth

    the water in the hold was making a foot a minute

  29. intr (of hay) to dry and mature
  30. informal.
    to gain a place or position on or in

    make the first team

    to make the headlines

  31. informal.
    to achieve the rank of
  32. slang.
    to seduce
  33. make a book
    to take bets on a race or other contest
  34. make a day of it
    to cause an activity to last a day
  35. make a night of it
    to cause an activity to last a night
  36. make do
    See do 1
  37. make eyes at
    to flirt with or ogle
  38. make good
    See good
  39. make heavy weather
    nautical to roll and pitch in heavy seas
  40. make heavy weather of something informal.
    to carry something out with great difficulty or unnecessarily great effort
  41. make it
    1. to be successful in doing something
    2. foll by with to have sexual intercourse
    3. to inject a narcotic drug
  42. make like slang.
    to imitate
  43. make love
    1. to have sexual intercourse
    2. to engage in courtship
  44. make love to someone
    1. to have sexual intercourse with someone
    2. to engage in courtship with someone
  45. make or break
    to bring success or ruin
  46. make time
    See time
  47. make water
    1. another term for urinate
    2. (of a boat, hull, etc) to let in water


  1. brand, type, or style

    what make of car is that?

  2. the manner or way in which something is made
  3. disposition or character; make-up
  4. the act or process of making
  5. the amount or number made
  6. bridge the contract to be played
  7. cards a player's turn to shuffle
  8. on the make
    1. out for profit or conquest
    2. in search of a sexual partner



/ meɪk /


  1. a peer or consort
  2. a mate or spouse

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Derived Forms

  • ˈmakable, adjective
  • ˈmakeless, adjective

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Other Words From

  • maka·ble adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of make1

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

Origin of make2

First recorded before 1000; Middle English mak, make, Old English gemaca; akin to Old High German kamahho “ally,” Old Icelandic maki “spouse, mate”; match 2

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Word History and Origins

Origin of make1

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

Origin of make2

Old English gemaca mate; related to match 1

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Idioms and Phrases

  1. make (so) bold, to have the temerity; be so rash; dare:

    May I make so bold as to suggest that you stand when they enter?

  2. make a play for, to try to get:

    He made a play for his brother's girlfriend. They made a play for control of the company's stock.

  3. make away with,
    1. to steal:

      The clerk made away with the cash and checks.

    2. to destroy; kill:

      He made away with his enemies.

    3. to get rid of.
    4. to consume, drink, or eat completely:

      The boys made away with the contents of the refrigerator.

  4. make believe, to pretend; imagine:

    The little girl dressed in a sheet and made believe she was a ghost.

  5. make book, Slang.
    1. to take bets and give odds.
    2. to make a business of this.
  6. make colors, Nautical. to hoist an ensign, as on board a warship.
  7. make do, to function, manage, or operate, usually on a deprivation level with minimal requirements:

    During the war we had no butter or coffee, so we had to make do without them.

  8. make good,
    1. to provide restitution or reparation for:

      The bank teller made good the shortage and was given a light sentence.

    2. to succeed:

      Talent and training are necessary to make good in some fields.

    3. to fulfill:

      He made good on his promise.

    4. Navigation. to compute (a course) allowing for leeway and compass deviation.
  9. make heavy weather,
    1. Nautical. to roll and pitch in heavy seas.
    2. to progress laboriously; struggle, especially to struggle needlessly:

      I am making heavy weather with my income tax return.

  10. make it so, Nautical. strike the ship's bell accordingly: said by the officer of the watch when the hour is announced.
  11. make it,
    1. Informal. to achieve a specific goal:

      to make it to the train; to make it through college.

    2. Informal. to succeed in general:

      He'll never make it in business.

    3. Slang. to have sexual intercourse.
  12. make like, Informal. to try or pretend to be like; imitate:

    I'm going to go out and make like a gardener.

  13. make one's manners, Southern U.S.
    1. to perform an appropriate or expected social courtesy.
    2. Older Use. to bow or curtsy.
  14. make sail, Nautical.
    1. to set sails.
    2. to brace the yards of a ship that has been hove to in order to make headway.
  15. make water,
    1. to urinate.
    2. Nautical. (of a hull) to leak.
  16. make with, Slang.
    1. to operate; use:

      Let's make with the feet.

    2. to bring about; provide or produce:

      He makes with the big ideas, but can't follow through.

  17. make as if / as though, Informal. to act as if; pretend:

    We will make as if to leave, then come back and surprise him.

  18. on the make, Informal.
    1. seeking to improve one's social or financial position, usually at the expense of others or of principle.
    2. increasing; advancing.
    3. Slang. seeking amorous or sexual relations:

      The park was swarming with sailors on the make.

  19. put the make on, Slang. to make sexual overtures to.
  20. make time. time ( def 52 ).

More idioms and phrases containing make

  • absence makes the heart grow fonder
  • all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
  • can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear
  • can't make head or tail of
  • kiss and make up
  • many hands make light work
  • might makes right
  • on the make
  • practice makes perfect
  • put in (make) an appearance
  • put the make on
  • run for it, make a
  • that makes two of us
  • two wrongs do not make a right
  • what makes one tick
  • made

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Synonym Study

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.

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Example Sentences

Genetics alone does not an eating disorder make, generally speaking, and Bulik points out that environment still plays a role.

And yes, our values include tolerance of those who wish to make fun of religion.

The court ruled she lacked the maturity to make her own medical decisions.

And it must make sure that the platform of debate where we can freely exchange ideas is safe and sound.

Through his company, consumers will be able to cheaply make custom DNA strands, including what Heinz calls “creatures.”

And to tell the truth, she couldn't help wishing he could see, so he could make the game livelier.

She did not need a great cook-book; She knew how much and what it took To make things good and sweet and light.

Now this setting up of an orderly law-abiding self seems to me to imply that there are impulses which make for order.

Give a sweet savour, and a memorial of fine flour, and make a fat offering, and then give place to the physician.

Those in whom the impulse is strong and dominant are perhaps those who in later years make the good society actors.


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More About Make

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

Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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




Makatimake a beeline for