[ mey-king ]SEE DEFINITION OF making


Making an effort to rise, he seemed surprised at his own weakness.

Numerous lamps were lighted in the trees, making the gardens bright as noon.

Is there any chance of making Mr. Davis return the money my father deposited with him?

But he was making real love, and you know I'm not used to that.

Windich said he had seen emu tracks, and he thought they were making south.

Finished the hut, pugging it at the ends, and making the roof better.

Making him her slave, she kept him at the very height of bliss.

We are charged with the sacred duty of making their path as smooth and easy as we can.

Surely there must have been God's intent in the making of this new-world Republic.

There is no short cut to the making of these ideals into glad realities.


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.


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