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.

Origin of make-believe

First recorded in 1805–15 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for make-believe

Contemporary Examples of make-believe

Historical Examples of make-believe

  • Then, after having finished my make-believe work, I retired.

    The Black Tulip

    Alexandre Dumas (Pere)

  • It is understood that there is to be no make-believe about the fares.

  • All depends on the completeness and constancy with which the make-believe is supported.

    The Mystery of Murray Davenport

    Robert Neilson Stephens

  • I can't say I'm happy, exactly, but Maud is and I'm goin' to make-believe be, for her sake.


    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • That was just like my runaway, all innocent acting and make-believe.

    The Christian

    Hall Caine

Word Origin and History for make-believe

"pretence," 1811, from make (v.) + believe. As an adjective by 1824.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper