American English

Definition of make verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they make
    he / she / it makes
    past simple made
    -ing form making
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  1. 1to create or prepare something by combining materials or putting parts together make something to make a table/dress/cake to make bread/cement/paper She makes her own clothes. made in China (= on a label) make something (out) of something What's your shirt made of? make something from something Wine is made from grapes. make something into something The grapes are made into wine. make something for somebody She made coffee for us all. make somebody something She made us all coffee. Vocabulary Buildinghousehold jobs: do or make? To write or talk about jobs in the home, you can use such phrases as wash the dishes, clean the kitchen floor, set the table, etc. In conversation, the verb do is often used instead:Let me do the dishes. Michael said he would do the kitchen floor. It’s your turn to do the bathroom. Do is often used with nouns ending -ing:to do the shopping/cleaning/ironing/vacuuming The verb make is used especially in the phrase make the beds and when you are talking about preparing or cooking food:He makes a great lasagna. I’ll make breakfast while you take a shower. You can also say get ready and fix for preparing meals:Can you get dinner ready while I put the kids to bed? Sit down — I’ll fix supper for you.
  2. 2make something to write, create, or prepare something These regulations were made to protect children. My lawyer has been urging me to make a will. She has made (= directed or acted in) several movies.
  3. a bed
  4. 3make a bed to arrange a bed so that it is neat and ready for use
  5. cause to appear/happen/become/do
  6. 4make something (+ adv./prep.) to cause something to appear as a result of breaking, tearing, hitting, or removing material The stone made a dent in the roof of the car. The holes in the cloth were made by moths.
  7. 5make something to cause something to exist, happen, or be done to make a noise/mess/fuss She tried to make a good impression on the interviewer. I keep making the same mistakes.
  8. 6make somebody/something/yourself + adj. to cause someone or something to be or become something The news made him very happy. She made her objections clear. He made it clear that he objected. The full story was never made public. Can you make yourself understood in Russian? She couldn't make herself heard above the noise of the traffic. The terrorists made it known that tourists would be targeted.
  9. 7make somebody/something do something to cause someone or something to do something She always makes me laugh. This dress makes me look fat. What makes you say that (= why do you think so)? Nothing will make me change my mind.
  10. 8to cause someone or something to be or become something make something of somebody/something This isn't very important—I don't want to make an issue of it. Don't make a habit of it. You've made a terrible mess of this job. It's important to try and make something of (= achieve something in) your life. We'll make a tennis player of you yet. make something + noun I made painting the house my project for the summer. She made it her business to find out who was responsible.
  11. a decision/guess/comment, etc.
  12. 9make a decision, guess, comment, etc. to decide, guess, etc. something Come on! It's time we made a start. Make can be used in this way with a number of different nouns. These expressions are included at the entry for each noun.
  13. force
  14. 10to force someone to do something make somebody do something They made me repeat the whole story. be made to do something She must be made to comply with the rules. make somebody He never cleans his room and his mother never tries to make him.
  15. represent
  16. 11to represent someone or something as being or doing something make somebody/something + adj. You've made my nose too big (= for example in a drawing). make somebody/something + noun He makes King Lear a truly tragic figure.
  17. appoint
  18. 12make somebody + noun to elect or choose someone as something She made him her assistant.
  19. be suitable
  20. 13linking verb make somebody/something + noun to become or develop into something; to be suitable for something She would have made an excellent teacher. This room would make a nice office.
  21. equal
  22. 14linking verb + noun to add up to or equal something 5 and 7 make 12. A hundred cents make one dollar.
  23. 15linking verb + noun to be a total of something That makes the third time he's failed his driving test!
  24. money
  25. 16make something to earn or gain money She makes $100,000 a year. to make a profit/loss We need to think of ways to make money. He made a fortune on the stock market. He makes a living as a stand-up comic.
  26. calculate
  27. 17[no passive] make something + noun to think or calculate something to be something What time do you make it? I make that exactly $50.
  28. reach
  29. 18[no passive] make something to manage to reach or go to a place or position Do you think we'll make Denver by 12? I'm sorry I couldn't make your party last night. He'll never make (= get a place in) the team. The story made (= appeared on) the front page of the newspaper. We just managed to make the deadline (= to finish something in time).
  30. something successful
  31. 19make something to cause something to be a success Good wine can make a meal. The news really made my day.
  32. Thesaurusmakedo create develop produce generate formThese words all mean to make something from parts or materials, or to cause something to exist or happen.make to create or prepare something by combining materials or putting parts together; to cause something to exist or happen:She makes her own clothes. She made a good impression on the (somewhat informal) to make or prepare something, especially something artistic or something to eat:He did a beautiful drawing of a house. Who's doing the food for the party?create to make something exist or happen, especially something new that did not exist before:Scientists disagree about how the universe was created.make or create?Make is a more general word and is more often used for physical things: you would usually make a table/dress/cake but create jobs/wealth. You can use create for something physical in order to emphasize how original or unusual the object is:Try this new dish, created by our head chef.develop (used especially in business contexts) to think of and produce a new product:to develop new softwareproduce to make things to be sold; to create something using skill:a factory that produces microchipsgenerate to produce or create something, especially power, money, or ideas:to generate electricity Brainstorming is a good way of generating ideas.form [often passive] to make something from something else; to make something into something else:Rearrange the letters to form a new word. The chain is formed from 136 links.Patterns to make/create/develop/produce/generate/form something from/out of something to make/form something into something to make/produce wine/cheese to create/develop a new product to create/produce/generate income/profits/wealth to produce/generate electricity/heat/powerIdioms
    make as if to do something
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    to make a movement that makes it seem as if you are just going to do something He made as if to speak.
    make do (with something)
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    to manage with something that is not really good enough We were in a hurry so we had to make do with a quick snack.
    to become rich and successful
      make something good
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    1. 1to pay for, replace, or repair something that has been lost or damaged She promised to make good the damage.
    2. 2to do something that you have promised, threatened, etc. to do synonym fulfill
    1. 1to be successful in your career He never really made it as an actor.
    2. 2to succeed in reaching a place in time, especially when this is difficult The flight leaves in twenty minutes—we'll never make it.
    3. 3to be able to be present at a place I'm sorry I won't be able to make it (= for example, to a party) on Saturday.
    4. 4to survive after a serious illness or accident; to deal successfully with a difficult experience The doctors think he's going to make it. I don't know how Imade it through the week.
    make it with somebody (slang)
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    to have sex with someone
    make like… (informal)
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    to pretend to be, know, or have something in order to impress people He makes like he's the greatest actor of all time.
    make the most of something/somebody/yourself
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    to gain as much advantage, enjoyment, etc. as you can from someone or something It's my first trip abroad so I'm going to make the most of it. She doesn't know how to make the most of herself (= make herself appear in the best possible way).
    make much of something/somebody
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    to treat something or someone as very important He always makes much of his humble origins.
    make or break something
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    to be the thing that makes someone or something either a success or a failure This movie will make or break him as a director. It's make-or-break time for the company.
    make something of yourself
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    to be successful in your life
    Phrasal Verbsmake for somethingmake somebody/something into somebody/somethingmake something of somebody/somethingmake offmake off with somethingmake outmake somebody outmake somebody/somethingoutmake somethingoutmake somebody/somethingovermake somethingover (to somebody/something)make toward somethingmake upmake somethingupmake up (with somebody)make up for somethingmake up (to somebody) for something
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: make