1. the act of a person or thing that makes: The making of a violin requires great skill.
  2. structure; constitution; makeup.
  3. the means or cause of success or advancement: to be the making of someone.
  4. Usually makings. capacity or potential: He has the makings of a first-rate officer.
  5. makings,
    1. material of which something may be made: the makings for a tossed salad.
    2. Older Slang.paper and tobacco with which to make a hand-rolled cigarette.
  6. something made.
  7. the quantity made: a making of butter.
  1. in the making, in the process of being made; developing or evolving; growing: Our space scientists see history in the making.

Origin of making

before 1150; Middle English; Old English macung. See make1, -ing1
Related formsself-mak·ing, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for self-making

Historical Examples of self-making

  • He was the self-made man who had shed the traces of self-making.

  • The West makes much of its self-made men, and points to them with pride, whenever the self-making includes material gain.

    The Main Chance

    Meredith Nicholson

  • We should have liked a grand piano, and a self-making ice box, and a servant, and an automobile right off!

British Dictionary definitions for self-making


    1. the act of a person or thing that makes or the process of being made
    2. (in combination)watchmaking
  1. be the making of to cause the success of
  2. in the making in the process of becoming or being madea politician in the making
  3. something made or the quantity of something made at one time
  4. make-up; composition
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