Definition of make verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//meɪk//
    ; NAmE NAmE//meɪk//
    see also madeVerb Forms present simple I / you / we / they make
    BrE BrE//meɪk//
    ; NAmE NAmE//meɪk//
    he / she / it makes
    BrE BrE//meɪks//
    ; NAmE NAmE//meɪks//
    past simple made
    BrE BrE//meɪd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//meɪd//
    past participle made
    BrE BrE//meɪd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//meɪd//
    -ing form making
    BrE BrE//ˈmeɪkɪŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈmeɪkɪŋ//
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  1. 1  to 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 France (= 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 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 table. Do is often used with nouns ending in -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 lasagne. I’ll make breakfast while you’re having a shower. You can also say get, get ready and, especially in North American English, fix for preparing meals:Can you get dinner while I put the kids to bed? Sit down—I’ll fix supper for you.
  2. 2  make 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. 3  make a bed to arrange a bed so that it is neat and ready for use
  5. cause to appear/happen/become/do
  6. 4  make 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. 5  make 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. Synonymsmakedo 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 interviewer.do (rather 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 to create/​develop a new product to create/​produce/​generate income/​profits/​wealth to produce/​generate electricity/​heat/​power
  8. 6  make somebody/something/yourself + adj. to cause somebody/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. 7  make somebody/something do something to cause somebody/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. 8  to cause somebody/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. 9  make 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. 10  to force somebody 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. 11  to represent somebody/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. 12  make somebody + noun to elect or choose somebody as something She made him her assistant.
  19. be suitable
  20. 13  linking 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. 14  linking verb + noun to add up to or equal something 5 and 7 make 12. A hundred cents make one euro.
  23. 15linking verb + noun to be a total of something That makes the third time he's failed his driving test!
  24. money
  25. 16  make 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 Dover 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 pages of the national newspapers. 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. More Like This Verbs with two objects bet, bring, build, buy, cost, get, give, leave, lend, make, offer, owe, pass, pay, play, post, promise, read, refuse, sell, send, show, sing, take, teach, tell, throw, wish, writeSee worksheet.
  32. Word OriginOld English macian, of West Germanic origin, from a base meaning ‘fitting’; related to the verb match.Extra examples A movie with big name stars in it should make money. Bob made the airport in less than forty minutes. Did they make any money out of their invention? He has made several movies. He makes the most delicious cakes. He’ll never make the team. His snoring was so bad, she made him sleep on the sofa downstairs. How do you make that dish with the peppers and olives in it? I’m sorry I didn’t make the party last night. It is possible to make a hypothesis on the basis of this graph. Mum makes us eat lots of vegetables. Politeness made her go back to see him. She made a fortune on the stock market. She sold her foreign investments last month and made $75 000. Smokers are often made to feel like social outcasts. The climber was the first woman to make the summit. The company is making a loss on its children’s range. The plane was forced to make an emergency landing because of bad weather. The rock made a dent in the roof of the car. The story made the front pages of the national newspapers. There’s money to be made from tourism. This does serve to make you question some fundamentals. We need to think of new ways to make money from our existing products. We were made to work very hard. What he said certainly made us all think. What made you go down to the beach so late last night? What made you think he was guilty? What makes you say that? What’s your shirt made of? You won’t make much money as a shop assistant. to be forced/​made to do somethingIdioms Most idioms containing make are at the entries for the nouns and adjectives in the idioms, for example make merry is at merry. 
    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
    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 fulfil
    1. 1  to be successful in your career He never really made it as an actor.
    2. 2  to succeed in reaching a place in time, especially when this is difficult The flight leaves in twenty minutes—we'll never make it.
    3. 3  to 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. 4  to 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 I made it through the week. See related entries: Recovering from illness
    (North American English, slang) to have sex with somebody (North American English, informal) 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 somebody/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/somebody as very important He always makes much of his humble origins.
    make or break somebody/something
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    to be the thing that makes somebody/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 into somebodymake something of somebodymake offmake off with somethingmake outmake somebody outmake out somebodymake somethingoutmake over somethingmake towards somethingmake upmake somethingupmake up (with somebody)make up for somethingmake up (to somebody) for somethingmake up to somebody
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: make