American English

Definition of make out phrasal verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary


make out

 phrasal verb
phrasal verb
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Phrasal Verbs
  1. 1(informal) used to ask if someone managed well or was successful in a particular situation How did he make out while his wife was away?
  2. 2 make out (with somebody) (informal) to kiss and touch someone in a sexual way

make somebody out

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to understand someone's character

    make somebody/somethingout

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  1. 1to manage to see someone or something or read or hear something synonym distinguish I could just make out a figure in the darkness. make out what, who, etc… I could hear voices but I couldn't make out what they were saying. Thesaurusidentifyknow recognize name make somebody/something outThese words all mean to be able to see or hear someone or something and especially to be able to say who or what they are.identify to be able to say who or what someone or something is:He was able to identify his attacker.know to be able to say who or what something is when you see or hear it because you have seen or heard it before Know is used especially to talk about sounds that seem familiar and when someone recognizes the quality or opportunity that someone or something represents:I couldn't see who was speaking, but I knew the voice. She knows a bargain when she sees one.recognize to know who someone is or what something is when you see or hear them/it, because you have seen or heard them/it before:I recognized him as soon as he came into the to say the name of someone or something in order to show that you know who/what they are:The victim has not yet been named in the newspapers.make somebody/something out to manage to see or hear someone or something that is not very clear:I could just make out a figure in the darkness.Patterns to identify/know/recognize somebody/something by something to identify/recognize/name somebody/something as somebody/something to identify/know/recognize/make out who/what/how… to easily/barely/just identify/recognize/make out somebody/something
  2. 2to say that something is true when it may not be synonym claim She's not as rich as people make out. make out that… He made out that he had been robbed. make out to be/do something She makes herself out to be smarter than she really is.

    make somethingout

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  1. 1 to write out or complete a form or document He made out a check for $100. The doctor made out a prescription for me. Applications must be made out in triplicate.
  2. 2(used in negative sentences and questions) to understand something; to see the reasons for something How do you make that out (= what are your reasons for thinking that)? make out what, why, etc… I can't make out what she wants.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: make out