[ meyk-bi-leev ]
/ ˈmeɪk bɪˌliv /
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pretense, especially of an innocent or playful kind; feigning; sham: the make-believe of children playing.
a pretender; a person who pretends.


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



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Origin of make-believe

First recorded in 1805–15
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for make-believe

make believe


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
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

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]

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