make-believe

[ meyk-bi-leev ]
/ ˈmeɪk bɪˌliv /

noun

pretense, especially of an innocent or playful kind; feigning; sham: the make-believe of children playing.
a pretender; a person who pretends.

adjective

pretended; feigned; imaginary; made-up; unreal: a make-believe world of fantasy.

Origin of make-believe

First recorded in 1805–15

Definition for make believe (2 of 2)

Origin of make

1
before 900; Middle English maken, Old English macian; cognate with Low German, Dutch maken, German machen

OTHER WORDS FROM make

mak·a·ble, adjective

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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for make believe (1 of 3)

make believe

verb

to pretend or enact a fantasythe children made believe they were doctors

noun make-believe

  1. a fantasy, pretence, or unreality
  2. (as modifier)a make-believe world
a person who pretends

British Dictionary definitions for make believe (2 of 3)

make1
/ (meɪk) /

verb makes, making or made (mainly tr)

noun

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 believe (3 of 3)

make2
/ (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

Idioms and Phrases with make believe (1 of 2)

make believe

Pretend, as in Let's make believe we're elves. This expression in effect means making oneself believe in an illusion. [Early 1700s]

Idioms and Phrases with make believe (2 of 2)

make

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