Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

make

 - definition
 
 
 
Close

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Close

Thesaurus

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary entries. Click on the T button in an entry to review the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

more
verb make pronunciation in American English /meɪk/ 
Word Forms
Close
present tense
I/you/we/theymake
he/she/itmakes
present participlemaking
past tensemade
past participlemade
  1. 1
    [transitive] to create or produce something by working

    Jane made coffee while the guests were finishing their dessert.

    She makes all her own clothes.

    made in:

    This furniture is made in South America.

    make something from something:

    They make paper from old rags.

    make something out of something:

    We made curtains out of some old material we found.

    made (out) of something:

    a bowl made of metal/plastic/wood

    make someone something:

    Joan made me a beautiful dress for my wedding.

    make something about someone/something:

    They're making a TV program about the case.

  2. 2
    [transitive] to cause something to be formed by breaking, cutting, or tearing an object or by pushing one object into or through another
    make a hole/scratch/dent etc. in something:

    Something's made a scratch in the counter.

  3. 3
    [transitive] used with some nouns for showing that someone performs the action referred to by the noun

    Over 340 arrests were made.

    make an attempt/effort:

    Helen made no attempt to stop him.

    make a decision:

    No one wanted to make a clear decision on the project.

    make a mistake/error:

    Nobody's perfect – we all make mistakes.

    make progress:

    We've made some progress, but there's still a long way to go.

    make a change/alteration/adjustment etc.:

    People can eat more healthily without making major changes to their diet.

    make a contribution:

    This study makes an outstanding contribution to our understanding of the disease.

    make a noise/sound:

    Stop making so much noise!

    make a note of something (=keep a written record of something):

    Matthew made a note of the car's number and informed the police.

    1. a.
      used with some nouns for showing that someone says something
      make a statement/suggestion/complaint etc.:

      The President will make a statement on that issue later today.

  4. 4
    [transitive] to cause someone or something to be in a particular state or to change to another state
    make someone do something:

    This movie always makes me cry.

    make yourself heard/understood etc.:

    I know enough Japanese to make myself understood.

    make something difficult/easy etc.:

    The noise in the school makes learning difficult.

    make someone feel sick/sad/strange etc.:

    The smell of fish makes me feel sick.

    make someone look fat/thin/younger etc.:

    That haircut makes you look ten years younger.

    make someone happy/sad/angry etc.:

    Listening to the news just makes me angry these days.

    make something nice/pretty/attractive etc.:

    I want to make the place nice for when they arrive.

    make someone famous/popular etc.:

    It was television that made her so popular.

    make it clear/obvious/plain etc. (that):

    I'd like to make it clear that I had nothing to do with this.

    make it known/understood (that):

    She made it known that she was the mayor's wife.

    make someone something:

    They made him the principal after Joanne left.

  5. 5
    [transitive] to force someone to do something

    I'm not going to apologize and you can't make me!

    make someone do something:

    They made us work for 12 hours a day.

    They made him tell the truth by depriving him of food.

    be made to do something:

    We were made to learn fifty new words every week.

  6. 6
    [transitive] to arrange or organize something
    make an appointment/date:

    I've made an appointment for you with the doctor for tomorrow morning.

  7. 7
    [transitive] to earn or get money

    She makes about $4,000 a month.

    make money:

    You can make a lot of money playing the stock market.

    make a living (=make enough money to buy the things that you need):

    Can you make a living from painting?

    make a profit:

    The company made a small profit in its first year.

  8. 9
    [transitive] to cause something to be successful

    It was the children's choir that really made the performance.

  9. 10
    [linking verb] to have the right qualities for a particular job, purpose etc.

    Diane would make a good teacher – she's so patient.

    Don't you think the novel would make a great movie?

  10. 11
    [transitive] to reach a particular place, especially so that there is time to do something

    At this rate we won't make New York before midnight.

    Dan just managed to make his 7 o'clock flight to Toronto.

  11. 12
    [transitive] to succeed in achieving something by reaching the necessary level or standard

    We've made our target of 10,000 sales this month.

    make a deadline:

    They'll never make the deadline now that the computers have crashed.

    make the headlines/papers/news etc. (=be important enough to be reported):

    Their search for a heart donor made the headlines in April.

    make a team/squad (=be chosen for it):

    Dawson has failed to make the team for Saturday's big game.

phrases

See also
 

protologism

a new word or phrase invented in the hope that it will become generally used

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

garbage patch

a collection of debris, mostly consisting of plastic, which moves around in the sea …

add a word

Blog

A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog