Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR MAKE BELIEVE

A hero does not try to make believe he is something which he is not.

That Elviry critter likes to make believe she's the Queen of Sheby.

Well, then, I'd pick up that coal-hod and make believe play for a spell.

I say it will pay us—you and Al and me—to make believe we're workin' even if we ain't.

There was only one thing to do—to make believe I was 'with him.'

All children and young people like to play, to act, to make believe.

If they want to dress up and make believe they are Egyptians, I give them clothes.

That is a make believe ruby, Berta, and Beth's is a sapphire.

Of course all this was "only make believe," as children say.

Then what did the cunning little thing do but make believe he was dead!

WORD ORIGIN

Old English macian "to make, form, construct, do; prepare, arrange, cause; behave, fare, transform," from West Germanic *makon "to fashion, fit" (cf. Old Saxon makon, Old Frisian makia "to build, make," Middle Dutch and Dutch maken, Old High German mahhon "to construct, make," German machen "to make"), from PIE *mag- "to knead, mix; to fashion, fit" (see macerate). If so, sense evolution perhaps is via prehistoric houses built of mud. Gradually replaced the main Old English word, gewyrcan (see work (v.)).

Meaning "to arrive at" (a place), first attested 1620s, originally was nautical. Formerly used in many places where specific verbs now are used, e.g. to make Latin (c.1500) "to write Latin compositions." This broader usage survives in some phrases, e.g. to make water "to urinate," to make a book "arrange a series of bets" (1828), make hay "to turn over mown grass to expose it to sun." Make the grade is 1912, perhaps from the notion of railway engines going up an incline.

But the phrase also was in use in a schoolwork context at the time. Make do "manage with what is available" is attested from 1867. Make time "go fast" is 1849; make tracks in this sense is from 1834. To make a federal case out of (something) popularized in 1959 movie "Anatomy of a Murder;" to make an offer (one) can't refuse is from Mario Puzo's 1969 novel "The Godfather." To make (one's) day is from 1909; menacing make my day is from 1971, popularized by Clint Eastwood in film "Sudden Impact" (1983). Related: Made; making.

MORE RELATED WORDS FOR MAKE BELIEVE

Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.