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make up - definition and synonyms

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phrasal verb
Word Forms
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present tense
I/you/we/theymake up
he/she/itmakes up
present participlemaking up
past tensemade up
past participlemade up
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  1. 1
    [transitive] to invent an explanation for something, especially in order to avoid being punished or embarrassed
    He made up some excuse about the dog eating his homework.
  2. 2
    [transitive] to invent a story, poem etc
    They made up a little poem and wrote it in the card.
  3. 3
    [transitive]make up something to combine together to form something larger
    Women make up 40 per cent of the workforce.
    This book is made up of twelve separate short stories.
  4. 4
    [transitive] to prepare or arrange something
    I’ll get the chemist to make this prescription up for you.
    Could you make up a list of all the things we need?
    make up a bed: You should stay the night – I’ll make up a bed for you.
  5. 5
    [transitive]make up something to make an amount or a number complete
    I’m paying £500, and Dave is making up the rest.
  6. 6
    [intransitive] to become friendly with someone again after an argument
    Why don’t you two forget your differences and make up?
    kiss and make up: They argue a lot, but they always kiss and make up.
    make up with: Tom still hasn’t made up with Alice.
  7. 7
    [transitive] to work at different times from usual because you have not worked enough at the normal times
    Sorry I’m late; I’ll make up the time this evening.
  8. 8
    [transitive] to produce something from cloth
    You could make up some new curtains from that material.
  9. 9
    [transitive] to put make-up on someones face
    They made my face up to look like a clown.
See also main entry: make

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