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make up

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phrasal verb
Word Forms
present tense
I/you/we/theymake up
he/she/itmakes up
present participlemaking up
past tensemade up
past participlemade up
  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. 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.

    Synonyms and related words for this sense of make up
  3. 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.

    Synonyms and related words for this sense of make up
  4. 5
    [transitive] make up something to make an amount or a number complete

    I'm paying £500, and Dave is making up the rest.

    Synonyms and related words for this sense of make up
  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 8
    [transitive] to produce something from cloth

    You could make up some new curtains from that material.

    Synonyms and related words for this sense of make up
  8. 9
    [transitive] to put make-up on someone's face

    They made my face up to look like a clown.

See also main entry: make


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