Seeking personal gain, as in Tom's a young man on the make—he doesn't care whom he offends. [Slang; second half of 1800s]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
How to use on the make in a sentence
Here, the 99% was less than 10%, as a dozen or so occupiers among the 200 or so on-the-make minglers.Far From the Streets, the Bold-Faced Names Rub Shoulders With the Wall Street Occupiers | Jeff Smith | March 26, 2012 | THE DAILY BEAST