Idioms

    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.
    make as if/as though, Informal. to act as if; pretend: We will make as if to leave, then come back and surprise him.
    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.
    make believe, to pretend; imagine: The little girl dressed in a sheet and made believe she was a ghost.
    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?
    make book, Slang.
    1. to take bets and give odds.
    2. to make a business of this.
    make colors, Nautical. to hoist an ensign, as on board a warship.
    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.
    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.
    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.
    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.
    make it so, Nautical. strike the ship's bell accordingly: said by the officer of the watch when the hour is announced.
    make like, Informal. to try or pretend to be like; imitate: I'm going to go out and make like a gardener.
    make one's manners, Southern U.S.
    1. to perform an appropriate or expected social courtesy.
    2. Older Use.to bow or curtsy.
    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.
    make time. time(def 52).
    make water,
    1. to urinate.
    2. Nautical.(of a hull) to leak.
    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.
    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.
    put the make on, Slang. to make sexual overtures to.

Origin of make

1
before 900; Middle English maken, Old English macian; cognate with Low German, Dutch maken, German machen
Related formsmak·a·ble, adjective

Synonyms for make

Synonym study

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.

Antonyms for make

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


British Dictionary definitions for make for

make for

verb (intr, preposition)

to head towards, esp in haste
to prepare to attack
to help to bring aboutyour cooperation will make for the success of our project

make

1

verb makes, making or made (mainly tr)

to bring into being by shaping, changing, or combining materials, ideas, etc; form or fashion; createto make a chair from bits of wood; make a poem
to draw up, establish, or formto make a decision; make one's will
to cause to exist, bring about, or producedon't make a noise
to cause, compel, or induceplease make him go away
to appoint or assign, as to a rank or positionthey made him chairman
to constituteone swallow doesn't make a summer
(also intr) to come or cause to come into a specified state or conditionto make merry; make someone happy
(copula) to be or become through developmenthe will make a good teacher
to cause or ensure the success ofyour news has made my day
to amount totwelve inches make a foot
to be part of or a member ofdid she make one of the party?
to serve as or be suitable forthat piece of cloth will make a coat
to prepare or put into a fit condition for useto make a bed
to be the essential element in or part ofcharm makes a good salesman
to carry out, effect, or doto make a gesture
(intr; foll by to, as if to, or as though to) to act with the intention or with a show of doing somethingthey made to go out; he made as if to hit her
to use for a specified purposeI will make this town my base
to deliver or pronounceto make a speech
to judge, reckon, or give one's own opinion or information as towhat time do you make it?
to cause to seem or represent as beingthat furniture makes the room look dark
to earn, acquire, or win for oneselfto make friends; make a fortune
to engage inmake love not war
to traverse or cover (distance) by travellingwe can make a hundred miles by nightfall
to arrive in time forhe didn't make the first act of the play
cards
  1. to win a trick with (a specified card)
  2. to shuffle (the cards)
  3. bridgeto fulfil (a contract) by winning the necessary number of tricks
cricket to score (runs)
electronics to close (a circuit) permitting a flow of currentCompare break (def. 44)
(intr) to increase in depththe water in the hold was making a foot a minute
(intr) (of hay) to dry and mature
informal to gain a place or position on or into make the headlines; make the first team
informal to achieve the rank of
slang to seduce
make a book to take bets on a race or other contest
make a day of it to cause an activity to last a day
make a night of it to cause an activity to last a night
make do See do 1 (def. 37)
make eyes at to flirt with or ogle
make good See good (def. 44)
make heavy weather nautical to roll and pitch in heavy seas
make heavy weather of something informal to carry something out with great difficulty or unnecessarily great effort
make it
  1. informalto be successful in doing something
  2. (foll by with) slangto have sexual intercourse
  3. slangto inject a narcotic drug
make like slang, mainly US and Canadian to imitate
make love
  1. to have sexual intercourse
  2. archaicto engage in courtship
make love to someone
  1. to have sexual intercourse with someone
  2. archaicto engage in courtship with someone
make or break to bring success or ruin
make time See time (def. 45)
make water
  1. another term for urinate
  2. (of a boat, hull, etc) to let in water

noun

brand, type, or stylewhat make of car is that?
the manner or way in which something is made
disposition or character; make-up
the act or process of making
the amount or number made
bridge the contract to be played
cards a player's turn to shuffle
on the make
  1. informalout for profit or conquest
  2. slangin search of a sexual partner
Derived Formsmakable, adjective

Word Origin for make

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

make

2

noun archaic

a peer or consort
a mate or spouse
Derived Formsmakeless, 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

Word Origin and History for make for

make

v.

Old English macian "to make, form, construct, do; prepare, arrange, cause; behave, fare, transform," from West Germanic *makon "to fashion, fit" (cf. Old Saxon makon, Old Frisian makia "to build, make," Middle Dutch and Dutch maken, Old High German mahhon "to construct, make," German machen "to make"), from PIE *mag- "to knead, mix; to fashion, fit" (see macerate). If so, sense evolution perhaps is via prehistoric houses built of mud. Gradually replaced the main Old English word, gewyrcan (see work (v.)).

Meaning "to arrive at" (a place), first attested 1620s, originally was nautical. Formerly used in many places where specific verbs now are used, e.g. to make Latin (c.1500) "to write Latin compositions." This broader usage survives in some phrases, e.g. to make water "to urinate," to make a book "arrange a series of bets" (1828), make hay "to turn over mown grass to expose it to sun." Make the grade is 1912, perhaps from the notion of railway engines going up an incline.

Read the valuable suggestions in Dr. C.V. Mosby's book -- be prepared to surmount obstacles before you encounter them -- equipped with the power to "make the grade" in life's climb. [advertisement for "Making the Grade," December 1916]

But the phrase also was in use in a schoolwork context at the time. Make do "manage with what is available" is attested from 1867. Make time "go fast" is 1849; make tracks in this sense is from 1834. To make a federal case out of (something) popularized in 1959 movie "Anatomy of a Murder;" to make an offer (one) can't refuse is from Mario Puzo's 1969 novel "The Godfather." To make (one's) day is from 1909; menacing make my day is from 1971, popularized by Clint Eastwood in film "Sudden Impact" (1983). Related: Made; making.

make

n.

"match, mate, companion" (now archaic or dialectal), from Old English gemaca "mate, equal; one of a pair, comrade; consort, husband, wife," from Proto-Germanic *gamakon-, related to Old English gemæcc "well-matched, suitable," macian "to make" (see make (v.)). Meaning "manner in which something is made, design, construction" is from c.1300. Phrase on the make "intent on profit or advancement" is from 1869.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with make for

make for

1

Have or cause to have a particular effect; also, help promote or further. For example, That letter of yours will make for hard feelings in the family, or This system makes for better communication. [Early 1500s]

2

Go toward, as in They turned around and made for home. This usage originated in the late 1500s, but was not widely used until the 1800s. Also see made for.

make

In addition to the idioms beginning with make

  • make a beeline for
  • make a break for
  • make a bundle
  • make a clean breast of
  • make a clean sweep
  • make a comeback
  • make a crack
  • make a date
  • make a day of it
  • make a dent in
  • make a difference
  • make advances
  • make a face
  • make a federal case of
  • make a fool of
  • make a fortune
  • make a fuss
  • make a go of
  • make a hash of
  • make a hit
  • make a hole in
  • make a killing
  • make a laughingstock of
  • make a living
  • make allowance for
  • make a long story short
  • make amends
  • make a monkey out of
  • make a mountain out of a molehill
  • make a name for oneself
  • make an appearance
  • make an appointment
  • make an ass of
  • make an end of
  • make an example of
  • make an exception
  • make an exhibition of oneself
  • make a night of it
  • make an impression
  • make a note of
  • make a nuisance of oneself
  • make a pass at
  • make a pig of oneself
  • make a pile
  • make a pitch for
  • make a play for
  • make a point of
  • make a practice of
  • make arrangements for
  • make a run for
  • make a scene
  • make as if
  • make a silk purse
  • make a stab at
  • make a stand
  • make a statement
  • make a stink
  • make a virtue of necessity
  • make away with
  • make bail
  • make believe
  • make bold
  • make book
  • make bricks without straw
  • make capital out of
  • make conversation
  • make demands on
  • make do
  • make ends meet
  • make eyes at
  • make fast work of
  • make for
  • make free with
  • make friends
  • make fun of
  • make good
  • make good time
  • make great strides
  • make haste
  • make hay while the sun shines
  • make head or tail of
  • make headway
  • make heavy weather
  • make history
  • make inroads into
  • make it
  • make it hot for
  • make it one's business
  • make it snappy
  • make it up
  • make it with
  • make light of
  • make like
  • make little of
  • make love
  • make mincemeat of
  • make mischief
  • make much of
  • make my day
  • make no bones about
  • make no difference
  • make no mistake
  • make nothing of
  • make off
  • make one's bed and lie in it
  • make one's blood boil
  • make one's blood run cold
  • make one's day
  • make one's ears burn
  • make oneself at home
  • make oneself scarce
  • make one's flesh creep
  • make one's hair stand on end
  • make one's head spin
  • make one sick
  • make one's mark
  • make one's mouth water
  • make one's peace with
  • make one's point
  • make one's way
  • make or break
  • make out
  • make out like a bandit
  • make over
  • make peace
  • make ready
  • make rounds
  • make sail
  • make sense
  • make short work of
  • make someone look good
  • make something of
  • make sport of
  • make stick
  • make sure
  • make the bed
  • make the best of it
  • make the dust fly
  • make the grade
  • make the most of
  • make the rounds
  • make the scene
  • make the sparks fly
  • make time
  • make tracks
  • make up
  • make up for lost time
  • make up one's mind
  • make up to
  • make use of
  • make waves
  • make way
  • make whoopee
  • make with

also see:

  • 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

Also see undermade.

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