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See more synonyms for makeweight on Thesaurus.com
  1. something put in a scale to complete a required weight.
  2. anything added to supply a lack.
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Origin of makeweight

First recorded in 1685–95; make1 + weight
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for makeweight

accompaniment, consummation, rest, supplement, enhancement, total, completion, capacity, entirety, totality, quota, augmentation, aggregate, remainder, correlate, counterpart, addition, correlative, balance, enrichment

Examples from the Web for makeweight

Historical Examples of makeweight

  • "I'll throw in two for makeweight," said the woman with her good-natured look.

    A Little Princess

    Frances Hodgson Burnett

  • They are men of prudence, and persuade E. to go with them, as a makeweight.

  • Into scales of doubt, equally balanced, he should be ready to throw his lyre, as a makeweight.

  • They will all wish to make of us a makeweight candle, when they are making out their pounds.

  • It didn't really matter; his respectability seemed more than a makeweight for slighted syntax.

    A Likely Story

    William De Morgan

British Dictionary definitions for makeweight


  1. something put on a scale to make up a required weight
  2. an unimportant person or thing added to make up a lack
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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 makeweight


also make-weight, 1690s, "small quantity of something added to make the total reach a certain weight," from make (v.) + weight.

MAKE WEIGHT. A small candle: a term applied to a little slender man. ["Dictionary of Buckish Slang, University Wit, and Pickpocket Eloquence," London, 1811]
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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper