verb (used with object), made, making.
to bring into existence by shaping or changing material, combining parts, etc.:
to make a dress; to make a channel; to make a work of art.
to produce; cause to exist or happen; bring about:
to make trouble; to make war.
to cause to be or become; render:
to make someone happy.
to appoint or name:
The president made her his special envoy.
to put in the proper condition or state, as for use; fix; prepare:
to make a bed; to make dinner.
to bring into a certain form:
to make bricks out of clay.
to convert from one state, condition, category, etc., to another:
to make a virtue of one’s vices.
to cause, induce, or compel:
to make a horse jump a barrier.
to give rise to; occasion:
It’s not worth making a fuss over such a trifle.
to produce, earn, or win for oneself:
to make a good salary; to make one’s fortune in oil.
to write or compose:
to make a short poem for the occasion.
to draw up, as a legal document; draft:
to make a will.
to do; effect:
to make a bargain.
to establish or enact; put into existence:
to make laws.
to become by development; prove to be:
You’ll make a good lawyer.
to form in the mind, as a judgment or estimate:
to make a decision.
to judge or interpret, as to the truth, nature, meaning, etc. (often followed by of):
What do you make of it?
to estimate; reckon:
to make the distance at ten miles.
to bring together separate parts so as to produce a whole; compose; form:
to make a matched set.
to amount to; bring up the total to:
Two plus two makes four. That makes an even dozen.
to serve as:
to make good reading.
to be sufficient to constitute:
One story does not make a writer.
to be adequate or suitable for:
This wool will make a warm sweater.
to assure the success or fortune of:
a deal that could make or break him; Seeing her made my day.
to deliver, utter, or put forth:
to make a stirring speech.
to go or travel at a particular speed:
to make 60 miles an hour.
to arrive at or reach; attain:
The ship made port on Friday. Do you think he’ll make 80?
to arrive in time for:
to make the first show.
to arrive in time to be a passenger on (a plane, boat, bus, train, etc.):
If you hurry, you can make the next flight.
Informal. to gain or acquire a position within:
He made the big time.
to receive mention or appear in or on:
The robbery made the front page.
to gain recognition or honor by winning a place or being chosen for inclusion in or on:
The novel made the bestseller list. He made the all-American team three years in a row.
Slang. to have sexual intercourse with.
to earn, as a score:
The team made 40 points in the first half.
to close (an electric circuit).
South Midland and Southern U.S. to plant and cultivate or produce (a crop):
He makes some of the best corn in the country.
verb (used without object), made, making.
to cause oneself, or something understood, to be as specified:
to make sure.
to show oneself to be or seem in action or behavior (usually followed by an adjective):
to make merry.
to be made, as specified:
This fabric makes up into beautiful drapes.
to move or proceed in a particular direction:
They made after the thief.
to rise, as the tide or water in a ship.
South Midland and Southern U.S. (of a crop) to grow, develop, or mature:
It looks like the corn’s going to make pretty good this year.
make down, Chiefly Pennsylvania German. to rain or snow:
It’s making down hard.
make fast, Chiefly Nautical. to fasten or secure.
make shut, Chiefly Pennsylvania German. to close:
Make the door shut.
the style or manner in which something is made; form; build.
production with reference to the manufacturer; brand:
our own make.
disposition; character; nature.
the act or process of making.
quantity made; output.
Cards. the act of naming the trump, or the suit named as trump.
Electricity. the closing of an electric circuit.
Jewelry. the excellence of a polished diamond with regard to proportion, symmetry, and finish.
Slang. identifying information about a person or thing from police records:
He radioed headquarters for a make on the car’s license plate.
make off with, to carry away; steal:
While the family was away, thieves made off with most of their valuables.
make on, Chiefly Pennsylvania German. to turn on, light, or ignite (especially a light or fire):
Make the light on.
make up to,
make a play for, to try to get:
He made a play for his brother’s girlfriend. They made a play for control of the company’s stock.
make as if / as though, Informal. to act as if; pretend:
We will make as if to leave, then come back and surprise him.
make away with,
make believe, to pretend; imagine:
The little girl dressed in a sheet and made believe she was a ghost.
make (so) bold, to have the temerity; be so rash; dare:
May I make so bold as to suggest that you stand when they enter?
make book, Slang.
make colors, Nautical. to hoist an ensign, as on board a warship.
make do, to function, manage, or operate, usually on a deprivation level with minimal requirements:
During the war we had no butter or coffee, so we had to make do without them.
make heavy weather,
make it so, Nautical. strike the ship’s bell accordingly: said by the officer of the watch when the hour is announced.
make like, Informal. to try or pretend to be like; imitate:
I’m going to go out and make like a gardener.
make one’s manners, Southern U.S.
make sail, Nautical.
make time. (def 52).
make with, Slang.
on the make, Informal.
put the make on, Slang. to make sexual overtures to.
an area of canvas or other fabric extended to the wind in such a way as to transmit the force of the wind to an assemblage of spars and rigging mounted firmly on a hull, raft, iceboat, etc., so as to drive it along.
some similar piece or apparatus, as the part of an arm that catches the wind on a windmill.
a voyage or excursion, especially in a sailing vessel:
They went for a sail around the island.
a sailing vessel or ship.
sailing vessels collectively:
The fleet numbered 30 sail.
sails for a vessel or vessels collectively.
(initial capital letter) Astronomy. the constellation Vela.
verb (used without object)
to move along or travel over water:
steamships sailing to Lisbon.
to manage a , especially for sport.
to begin a journey by water:
We are sailing at dawn.
to move along in a manner suggestive of a sailing vessel:
caravans sailing along.
to move along in a stately, effortless way:
to sail into a room.
verb (used with object)
to sail upon, over, or through:
to sail the seven seas.
to navigate (a vessel).
sail in/into, Informal.
in sail, with the sails set.
make sail, Nautical.
set sail, to start a sea voyage:
We set sail at midnight for Nantucket.
trim one’s sails, Informal. to cut expenses; economize:
We’re going to have to trim our sails if we stay in business.
under sail, with sails set; in motion; sailing:
It was good to be under sail in the brisk wind and under the warm sun.
verb (mainly transitive) makes, making, made
to bring into being by shaping, changing, or combining materials, ideas, etc; form or fashion; create: to make a chair from bits of wood, make a poem
to draw up, establish, or form: to make a decision, make one’s will
to cause to exist, bring about, or produce: don’t make a noise
to cause, compel, or induce: please make him go away
to appoint or assign, as to a rank or position: they made him chairman
to constitute: one swallow doesn’t make a summer
(also intransitive) to come or cause to come into a specified state or condition: to make merry, make someone happy
(copula) to be or become through development: he will make a good teacher
to cause or ensure the success of: your news has made my day
to amount to: twelve inches make a foot
to be part of or a member of: did she make one of the party?
to serve as or be suitable for: that piece of cloth will make a coat
to prepare or put into a fit condition for use: to make a bed
to be the essential element in or part of: charm makes a good salesman
to carry out, effect, or do: to make a gesture
(intransitive; foll by to, as if to, or as though to) to act with the intention or with a show of doing something: they made to go out, he made as if to hit her
to use for a specified purpose: I will make this town my base
to deliver or pronounce: to make a speech
to judge, reckon, or give one’s own opinion or information as to: what time do you make it?
to cause to seem or represent as being: that furniture makes the room look dark
to earn, acquire, or win for oneself: to make friends, make a fortune
to engage in: make love not war
to traverse or cover (distance) by travelling: we can make a hundred miles by nightfall
to arrive in time for: he didn’t make the first act of the play
(cricket) to score (runs)
(electronics) to close (a circuit) permitting a flow of current Compare break (sense 44)
(intransitive) to increase in depth: the water in the hold was making a foot a minute
(intransitive) (of hay) to dry and mature
(informal) to gain a place or position on or in: to make the headlines, make the first team
(informal) to achieve the rank of
(slang) to seduce
make a book, to take bets on a race or other contest
make a day of it, to cause an activity to last a day
make a night of it, to cause an activity to last a night
make do, See do1 (sense 37)
make eyes at, to flirt with or ogle
make good, See good (sense 44)
(nautical) make heavy weather, to roll and pitch in heavy seas
(informal) make heavy weather of something, to carry something out with great difficulty or unnecessarily great effort
(slang, mainly US & Canadian) make like, to imitate
make love to someone
make or break, to bring success or ruin
make time, See time (sense 45)
brand, type, or style: what make of car is that?
the manner or way in which something is made
disposition or character; make-up
the act or process of making
the amount or number made
(bridge) the contract to be played
(cards) a player’s turn to shuffle
on the make
a peer or consort
a mate or spouse
an area of fabric, usually Terylene or nylon (formerly canvas), with fittings for holding it in any suitable position to catch the wind, used for propelling certain kinds of vessels, esp over water
a voyage on such a vessel: a sail down the river
a vessel with sails or such vessels collectively: to travel by sail, we raised seven sail in the northeast
a ship’s sails collectively
something resembling a sail in shape, position, or function, such as the part of a windmill that is turned by the wind or the part of a Portuguese man-of-war that projects above the water
the conning tower of a submarine
in sail, having the sail set
verb (mainly intransitive)
to travel in a boat or ship: we sailed to Le Havre
to begin a voyage; set sail: we sail at 5 o’clock
(of a vessel) to move over the water: the liner is sailing to the Caribbean
(transitive) to manoeuvre or navigate a vessel: he sailed the schooner up the channel
(transitive) to sail over: she sailed the Atlantic single-handed
often foll by over, through, etc. to move fast or effortlessly: we sailed through customs, the ball sailed over the fence
to move along smoothly; glide
(informal) often foll by in or into
Old English macian “to make, form, construct, do; prepare, arrange, cause; behave, fare, transform,” from West Germanic *makon “to fashion, fit” (cf. Old Saxon makon, Old Frisian makia “to build, make,” Middle Dutch and Dutch maken, Old High German mahhon “to construct, make,” German machen “to make”), from PIE *mag- “to knead, mix; to fashion, fit” (see macerate). If so, sense evolution perhaps is via prehistoric houses built of mud. Gradually replaced the main Old English word, gewyrcan (see work (v.)).
Meaning “to arrive at” (a place), first attested 1620s, originally was nautical. Formerly used in many places where specific verbs now are used, e.g. to make Latin (c.1500) “to write Latin compositions.” This broader usage survives in some phrases, e.g. to make water “to urinate,” to make a book “arrange a series of bets” (1828), make hay “to turn over mown grass to expose it to sun.” Make the grade is 1912, perhaps from the notion of railway engines going up an incline.
Read the valuable suggestions in Dr. C.V. Mosby’s book — be prepared to surmount obstacles before you encounter them — equipped with the power to “make the grade” in life’s climb. [advertisement for “Making the Grade,” December 1916]
But the phrase also was in use in a schoolwork context at the time. Make do “manage with what is available” is attested from 1867. Make time “go fast” is 1849; make tracks in this sense is from 1834. To make a federal case out of (something) popularized in 1959 movie “Anatomy of a Murder;” to make an offer (one) can’t refuse is from Mario Puzo’s 1969 novel “The Godfather.” To make (one’s) day is from 1909; menacing make my day is from 1971, popularized by Clint Eastwood in film “Sudden Impact” (1983). Related: Made; making.
“match, mate, companion” (now archaic or dialectal), from Old English gemaca “mate, equal; one of a pair, comrade; consort, husband, wife,” from Proto-Germanic *gamakon-, related to Old English gemæcc “well-matched, suitable,” macian “to make” (see make (v.)). Meaning “manner in which something is made, design, construction” is from c.1300. Phrase on the make “intent on profit or advancement” is from 1869.
Old English segl “sail, veil, curtain,” from Proto-Germanic *seglom (cf. Old Saxon, Swedish segel, Old Norse segl, Old Frisian seil, Dutch zeil, Old High German segal, German Segel), of obscure origin with no known cognates outside Germanic (Irish seol, Welsh hwyl “sail” are Germanic loan-words). In some sources (Klein, OED) referred to PIE root *sek- “to cut,” as if meaning “a cut piece of cloth.” To take the wind out of (someone’s) sails (1888) is to deprive (someone) of the means of progress, especially by sudden and unexpected action, “as by one vessel sailing between the wind and another vessel,” [“The Encyclopaedic Dictionary,” 1888].
Old English segilan “travel on water in a ship; equip with a sail,” from the same Germanic source as sail (n.); cognate with Old Norse sigla, Middle Dutch seghelen, Dutch zeilen, Middle Low German segelen, German segeln. Meaning “to set out on a sea voyage, leave port” is from c.1200. Related: Sailed; sailing.
easy make, on the make, on the take, put the make on someone, run a make
[meyk-shift] /ˈmeɪkˌʃɪft/ noun 1. a temporary expedient or substitute: We used boxes as a makeshift while the kitchen chairs were being painted. adjective 2. Also, makeshifty. serving as, or of the nature of, a makeshift. /ˈmeɪkˌʃɪft/ adjective 1. serving as a temporary or expedient means, esp during an emergency noun 2. something serving in this […]
- Make someone look good
Cause someone to appear in a favorable light, as in Harry’s staff does most of the important work and makes him look good.
- Make something of
1. Render important or useful; improve. For example, Dad hoped Tim would make something of himself. [ Late 1700s ] 2. Give undue importance to something, especially a problem or disagreement, as in Ann decided to make something of it when Bob said women’s studies is not a real discipline . This usage sometimes is […]
- Make something out of
verb phrase To interpret as a cause for combat; regard as a challenge or insult: So you heard what I said, huh? You want to make something out of it? (1940s+)