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See also: makë, måke, mǎkè, and mąkę



 make on Wikipedia


Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English maken, from Old English macian (to make, build, work), from Proto-Germanic *makōną (to make, build, work), from Proto-Indo-European *mag- (to knead, mix, make). Cognate with Latin mācerō, macer, Ancient Greek μάσσω (mássō), Scots mak (to make), Saterland Frisian moakje (to make), West Frisian meitsje (to make), Dutch maken (to make), Dutch Low Saxon maken (to make) and German Low German maken (to make), and German machen (to make, do). Related to match.


make (third-person singular simple present makes, present participle making, simple past and past participle made)

  1. (transitive, heading) To create.
    1. To build, construct, or produce.
      We made a bird feeder for our yard.  I'll make a man out of him yet.
      • 1892, Walter Besant, “Prologue: Who is Edmund Gray?”, in The Ivory Gate: A Novel, New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers, Franklin Square, OCLC 16832619:
        Thus, when he drew up instructions in lawyer language, he expressed the important words by an initial, a medial, or a final consonant, and made scratches for all the words between; his clerks, however, understood him very well.
      • I made a speaking trumpet of my hands and commenced to whoop “Ahoy!” and “Hello!” at the top of my lungs. […] The Colonel woke up, and, after asking what in brimstone was the matter, opened his mouth and roared “Hi!” and “Hello!” like the bull of Bashan.
      • 2013 June 22, “T time”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8841, page 68:
        Yet in “Through a Latte, Darkly”, a new study of how Starbucks has largely avoided paying tax in Britain, Edward Kleinbard [] shows that current tax rules make it easy for all sorts of firms to generate what he calls “stateless income”: []. In Starbucks’s case, the firm has in effect turned the process of making an expensive cup of coffee into intellectual property.
    2. To write or compose.
      I made a poem for her wedding.  He made a will.
    3. To bring about.
      make war
      They were just a bunch of ne'er-do-wells who went around making trouble for honest men.
    4. (religious) To create as, earth, heaven, stars, etc.
      • 1460-1500, The Towneley Playsː
        I see that it is good; now make we man to our likeness, that shall be keeper of mere & leas(ow), of fowls and fish in flood.
      God made earth and heaven.
  2. (intransitive, now mostly colloquial) To behave, to act.
    To make like a deer caught in the headlights.
    They made nice together, as if their fight never happened.
    He made as if to punch him, but they both laughed and shook hands.
  3. (intransitive) To tend; to contribute; to have effect; with for or against.
  4. To constitute.
    They make a cute couple.  This makes the third infraction.  One swallow does not a summer make.
    • 2014, A teacher, "Choosing a primary school: a teacher's guide for parents", The Guardian, 23 September:
      So if your prospective school is proudly displaying that "We Are Outstanding" banner on its perimeter fence, well, that is wonderful … but do bear in mind that in all likelihood it has been awarded for results in those two subjects, rather than for its delivery of a broad and balanced curriculum which brings out the best in every child. Which is, of course, what makes a great primary school.
    • 1995, Harriette Simpson Arnow: Critical Essays on Her Work, p.46:
      Style alone does not make a writer.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 5, in The Celebrity:
      We made an odd party before the arrival of the Ten, particularly when the Celebrity dropped in for lunch or dinner. He could not be induced to remain permanently at Mohair because Miss Trevor was at Asquith, but he appropriated a Hempstead cart from the Mohair stables and made the trip sometimes twice in a day.
  5. (intransitive, construed with of, typically interrogative) To interpret.
    I don’t know what to make of it.
  6. (transitive, usually stressed) To bring into success.
    This company is what made you.  She married into wealth and so has it made.
    • John Dryden (1631-1700)
      who makes or ruins with a smile or frown
  7. (transitive, second object is an adjective or participle) To cause to be.
    The citizens made their objections clear.  This might make you a bit woozy.Did I make myself heard?Scotch will make you a man.
    • 2013 July 20, “The attack of the MOOCs”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8845:
      Since the launch early last year of […] two Silicon Valley start-ups offering free education through MOOCs, massive open online courses, the ivory towers of academia have been shaken to their foundations. University brands built in some cases over centuries have been forced to contemplate the possibility that information technology will rapidly make their existing business model obsolete.
  8. To cause to appear to be; to represent as.
    • Richard Baker (c.1568-1645)
      He is not that goose and ### that Valla would make him.
    • 1908, W[illiam] B[lair] M[orton] Ferguson, Zollenstein, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, OCLC 29686887 , chapter IV:
      So this was my future home, I thought! Certainly it made a brave picture. I had seen similar ones fired-in on many a Heidelberg stein. Backed by towering hills, [] a sky of palest Gobelin flecked with fat, fleecy little clouds, it in truth looked a dear little city; the city of one's dreams.
  9. (transitive, second object is a verb) To cause (to do something); to compel (to do something).
    You're making her cry.  I was made to feel like a criminal.
    • 1892, Walter Besant, chapter III, in The Ivory Gate: A Novel, New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers, Franklin Square, OCLC 16832619:
      In former days every tavern of repute kept such a room for its own select circle, a club, or society, of habitués, who met every evening, for a pipe and a cheerful glass. [] Strangers might enter the room, but they were made to feel that they were there on sufferance: they were received with distance and suspicion.
  10. (transitive, second object is a verb, can be stressed for emphasis or clarity) To force to do.
    The teacher made the student study.  Don’t let them make you suffer.
  11. (transitive, of a fact) To indicate or suggest to be.
    His past mistakes don’t make him a bad person.
  12. (transitive, of a bed) To cover neatly with bedclothes.
  13. (transitive, US slang) To recognise, identify.
    • 1939, Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep, Penguin 2011, p.33:
      I caught sight of him two or three times and then made him turning north into Laurel Canyon Drive.
    • 2004, George Nolfi et al., Ocean's Twelve, Warner Bros. Pictures, 0:50:30:
      Linus Caldwell: Well, she just made Danny and Yen, which means in the next 48 hours the three o' your pictures are gonna be in every police station in Europe.
    • 2007 May 4, Andrew Dettmann et al., "Under Pressure", episode 3-22 of Numb3rs, 00:01:16:
      David Sinclair: (walking) Almost at Seventh; I should have a visual any second now. (rounds a corner, almost collides into Kaleed Asan) Damn, that was close.
      Don Eppes: David, he make you?
      David Sinclair: No, I don't think so.
  14. (transitive, colloquial) To arrive at a destination, usually at or by a certain time.
    We should make Cincinnati by 7 tonight.
    • Sir Thomas Browne (1605-1682)
      They that sail in the middle can make no land of either side.
  15. (intransitive, colloquial) To proceed (in a direction).
    They made westward over the snowy mountains.  Make for the hills! It's a wildfire!They made away from the fire toward the river.
  16. (transitive) To cover (a given distance) by travelling. [from 16thc.]
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 2, in The Celebrity:
      I had occasion […] to make a somewhat long business trip to Chicago, and on my return […] I found Farrar awaiting me in the railway station. He smiled his wonted fraction by way of greeting, […], and finally leading me to his buggy, turned and drove out of town. I was completely mystified at such an unusual proceeding.
    • 1918, Edgar Rice Burroughs, The Land That Time Forgot, Chapter VIII:
      I made over twenty miles that day, for I was now hardened to fatigue and accustomed to long hikes, having spent considerable time hunting and exploring in the immediate vicinity of camp.
  17. (transitive) To move at (a speed). [from 17thc.]
    The ship could make 20 knots an hour in calm seas.  This baby can make 220 miles an hour.
  18. To appoint; to name.
    • 1991, Bernard Guenée, Between Church and State: The Lives of Four French Prelates ISBN 0226310329:
      On November 15, 1396, [] Benedict XIII made him bishop of Noyon;
  19. (transitive, slang) To induct into the Mafia or a similar organization (as a made man).
    • 1990, Nicholas Pileggi & Martin Scorsese, Goodfellas:
      Jimmy Conway: They're gonna make him.
      Henry Hill: Paulie's gonna make you?
  20. (intransitive, colloquial, euphemistic) To defecate or urinate.
    • 1992, Merrill Joan Gerber, The kingdom of Brooklyn, page 30:
      When my father comes back with a dark wet spot on his pants, right in front, as if he has made in his pants, he starts eating his food in great shovelfuls.
    • 2003, Mary Anne Kelly, The Cordelia Squad, page 121:
      "He made in his pants, okay? I hope everybody's satisfied!" She flung her hat on the floor and kicked it. "He'll never come back to school now! Never! And it's all your fault!
  21. (transitive) To earn, to gain (money, points, membership or status).
    You have to spend money to make money!  He made twenty bucks playing poker last night.  They hope to make a bigger profit.  She makes more than he does, and works longer hours than he does, but she still does most of the house-cleaning.  He didn't make the choir after his voice changed.  She made ten points in that game.
    • 2011 September 2, “Wales 2-1 Montenegro”, in BBC:
      Wales' defence had an unfamiliar look with Cardiff youngster Darcy Blake preferred to 44-cap Danny Gabbidon of Queen's Park Rangers, who did not even make the bench.
    • 2012 May 20, Nathan Rabin, “TV: Review: THE SIMPSONS (CLASSIC): “Marge Gets A Job” (season 4, episode 7; originally aired 11/05/1992)”, in The Onion AV Club:
      Bart spies an opportunity to make a quick buck so he channels his inner carny and posits his sinking house as a natural wonder of the world and its inhabitants as freaks, barking to dazzled spectators, “Behold the horrors of the Slanty Shanty! See the twisted creatures that dwell within! Meet Cue-Ball, the man with no hair!”
  22. (transitive) To pay, to cover (an expense); chiefly used after expressions of inability.
    • 1889 May 1, Chief Justice George P. Raney, Pensacola & A. R. Co. v. State of Florida (judicial opinion), reproduced in The Southern Reporter, Volume 5, West Publishing Company, p.843:
      Whether, [], the construction of additional roads [] would present a case in which the exaction of prohibitory or otherwise onerous rates may be prevented, though it result in an impossibility for some or all of the roads to make expenses, we need not say; no such case is before us.
    • 2005, Yuvi Shmul and Ron Peltier, Make It Big with Yuvi: How to Buy Or Start a Small Business, the Best Investment, AuthorHouse, ISBN 1-4259-0021-6, p.67:
      At first glance, you may be able to make rent and other overhead expenses because the business is doing well, but if sales drop can you still make rent?
    • 2011, Donald Todrin, Successfully Navigating the Downturn, Entrepreneur Press, ISBN 1-59918-419-2, p.194:
      So you can’t make payroll. This happens. [] many business owners who have never confronted it before will be forced to deal with this most difficult matter of not making payroll.
  23. (obsolete, intransitive) To compose verses; to write poetry; to versify.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Chaucer to this entry?)
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Tennyson to this entry?)
  24. To enact; to establish.
    • 1791, The First Amendment to the United States Constitution:
      Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
  25. To develop into; to prove to be.
    She'll make a fine president.
  26. To form or formulate in the mind.
    make plans;  made a questionable decision
  27. (obsolete) To act in a certain manner; to have to do; to manage; to interfere; to be active; often in the phrase to meddle or make.
  28. (obsolete) To increase; to augment; to accrue.
  29. (obsolete) To be engaged or concerned in.
    • John Dryden (1631-1700)
      Gomez, what makest thou here, with a whole brotherhood of city bailiffs?
  30. (now archaic) To cause to be (in a specified place), used after a subjective what.
    • 1676, George Etherege, A Man of Mode:
      Footman. Madam! Mr. Dorimant!
      Lov. What makes him here?
    • 1816, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Christabel:
      What makes her in the wood so late, / A furlong from the castle gate?
  31. (transitive, euphemistic) To take the virginity of.
    • Rudyard Kipling
      I was a young un at 'Oogli,
      Shy as a girl to begin;
      Aggie de Castrer she made me,
      — An' Aggie was clever as sin;
      Older than me, but my first un —
      More like a mother she were
      Showed me the way to promotion an' pay,
      An' I learned about women from 'er!
Derived termsEdit
See alsoEdit
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


make (plural makes)

  1. (often of a car) Brand or kind; often paired with model. syn. transl.
    What make of car do you drive?
  2. How a thing is made; construction. syn.
    • 1907, Mark Twain, A Horse's Tale[1]:
      I can name the tribe every moccasin belongs to by the make of it.
  3. Origin of a manufactured article; manufacture. syn.
    The camera was of German make.
  4. (uncountable) Quantity produced, especially of materials. syn.
    • 1902, September 16, German Iron and Steel Production[3], page 8:
      In 1880 the make of pig iron in all countries was 18,300,000 tons.
  5. (dated) The act or process of making something, especially in industrial manufacturing. syn.
    • 1908, Charles Thomas Jacobi, Printing: A Practical Treatise on the Art of Typography as Applied More Particularly to the Printing of Books[4], page 331:
      [] papers are respectively of second or inferior quality, the last being perhaps torn or broken in the "make" — as the manufacture is technically termed.
  6. A person's character or disposition. syn.
    • 1914, Gertrude Franklin Horn Atherton, Perch of the Devil[5], page 274:
      I never feel very much excited about any old thing; it's not my make; but I've got a sort of shiver inside of me, and a watery feeling in the heart region.
  7. (bridge) The declaration of the trump for a hand.
    • 1925, Robert William Chambers, The Talkers[6], page 195:
      It's your make as the cards lie. Take your time.
  8. (physics) The closing of an electrical circuit. syn.
    • 1947, Charles Seymour Siskind, Electricity[7], page 94:
      If the interrupter operated every 2 sec., the current would rise to 10 amp. and drop to zero with successive "makes" and "breaks."
  9. (computing) A software utility for automatically building large applications, or an implementation of this utility.
    • 2003, D. Curtis Jamison, Perl Programming for Biologists[8], ISBN 0471430595, page 115:
      However, the unzip and make programs weren't found, so the default was left blank.
  10. (slang) Recognition or identification, especially from police records or evidence. syn.
    • 2003, John Lutz, The Night Spider[9], ISBN 0786015160, page 53:
      "They ever get a make on the blood type?" Horn asked, staring at the stained mattress.
  11. (slang, usually in phrase "easy make") Past or future target of seduction (usually female). syn.
    • 2007, Prudence Mors Rains, Becoming an Unwed Mother[10], ISBN 020230955X, page 26:
      To me, if I weren't going with someone and was taking pills, it would be like advertising that I'm an easy make.
    • 1962, Ralph Moreno, A Man's Estate[11], page 12:
      She's your make, not mine. [] It isn't anything short of difficult to entertain someone else's pregnant fiancee.
  12. (slang, military) A promotion.
    • 2004, Joseph Stilwell, Seven Stars: The Okinawa Battle Diaries of Simon Bolivar Buckner, Jr. and Joseph Stilwell[12], ISBN 1585442941, page 94:
      Sent back the list of makes with only Post and Hamilton on it. (Buckner had recommended 10 staff officers and 1 combat soldier!)
  13. A home-made project
    • 1978, Biddy Baxter, Hazel Gill, Margaret Parnell, Rachel Barnes, Kate Pountney, The 'Blue Peter' Make, Cook & Look Book[13], page i:
      Blue Peter "make"
  14. (basketball) A made basket.

Etymology 2Edit

From Middle English make, imake, from Old English ġemaca (a mate, an equal, companion, peer), from Proto-Germanic *gamakô (companion, comrade), from Proto-Indo-European *maǵ- (to knead, oil). Reinforced by Old Norse maki (an equal). Cognate with Icelandic maki (spouse), Swedish make (spouse, husband), Danish mage (companion, fellow, mate). See also match.


make (plural makes)

  1. (dialectal) Mate; a spouse or companion.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, I.vii:
      Th'Elfe therewith astownd, / Vpstarted lightly from his looser make, / And his vnready weapons gan in hand to take.
    • 1624, Ben Jonson, The Masque of Owls at Kenilworth:
      Where their maids and their makes / At dancing and wakes, / Had their napkins and posies / And the wipers for their noses

Etymology 3Edit

Origin uncertain.


make (plural makes)

  1. (Scotland, Ireland, Northern England, now rare) A halfpenny. [from 16th c.]
    • 1826, Sir Walter Scott, Woodstock; Or, the Cavalier:
      the last we shall have, I take it; for a make to a million, but we trine to the nubbing cheat to-morrow.
    • 1934, Lewis Grassic Gibbon, Grey Granite, Polygon 2006 (A Scots Quair), page 606:
      Only as he climbed the steps did he mind that he hadn't even a meck upon him, and turned to jump off as the tram with a showd swung grinding down to the Harbour []






  1. (archaic) singular present subjunctive of maken





  1. Rōmaji transcription of まけ



From Old Swedish maki, from Old Norse maki, from Proto-Germanic *makô. Doublet of maka.



make c m

  1. (slightly archaistic or formal) a spouse, a husband, a married man (mostly referring to a specific relation)
    Hon hade inte sett sin make på hela dagen.
    She had not seen her husband for all the day.
    Makarna hade råkat ta in på samma hotell.
    The man and his wife happened to board at the same hotel.
  2. something alike (in quality)
    Ingen hade sett svärdets make.
    Nobody had seen a sword like this.


Declension of make 
Singular Plural
Indefinite Definite Indefinite Definite
Nominative make maken makar makarna
Genitive makes makens makars makarnas