make (v.)

Old English macian "to give being to, give form or character to, bring into existence; construct, do, be the author of, produce; prepare, arrange, cause; behave, fare, transform," from West Germanic *makōjanan "to fashion, fit" (source also of 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 root *mag- "to knead, fashion, fit." If so, sense evolution perhaps is via prehistoric houses built of mud. It 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, such as to make Latin (c. 1500) "to write Latin compositions." This broader usage survives in some phrases, such as make water "to urinate" (c. 1400), 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.

Read the valuable suggestions in Dr. C.V. Mosby's book — be prepared to surmount obstacles before you encounter them — equipped with the power to "make the grade" in life's climb. [advertisement for "Making the Grade," December 1916]

But the phrase also was in use in a schoolwork context at the time.

To make friends is from late 14c.; to make good "make right" is from early 15c.  To make do "manage with what is available" is attested by 1867; to make for "direct one's course to, proceed toward" is from 1580s, but "Not frequent before the 19th c." [OED]. To make of  "think, judge" is from c. 1300. To make off  "run away, depart suddenly" is from 1709; to make off with "run away with (something) in one's possession" is by 1820. To make way is from c. 1200 as "cut a path," early 14c. as "proceed, go."

Make time "go fast" is 1849; make tracks in this sense is from 1834. To make a federal case out of  (something) was 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 by 1909; menacing make my day is from 1971, popularized by Clint Eastwood in film "Sudden Impact" (1983). Related: Made; making.

make (n.)

"match, mate, companion" (now archaic or dialectal), from Old English gemaca "mate, equal; one of a pair, comrade; consort, husband, wife," from Proto-Germanic *gamakon- (source also of Old Saxon gimaco, Old High German gimahho, Old Norse maki), related to Old English gemæcc "well-matched, suitable," macian "to make" (see make (v.)). Meaning "manner in which something is made, form, shape, design, construction" is from c. 1300. Slang phrase on the make "intent on profit or advancement" is from 1869.

Definitions of make
make (v.)
engage in;
make an effort
make love, not war
make revolution
Synonyms: do
make (v.)
give certain properties to something;
He made a fool of himself at the meeting
This invention will make you a millionaire
Don't make this into a big deal
She made us look silly
Synonyms: get
make (v.)
make or cause to be or to become;
make a mess in one's office
Synonyms: create
make (v.)
cause to do; cause to act in a specified manner;
My wife made me buy a new sofa
Synonyms: induce / stimulate / cause / have
make (v.)
give rise to; cause to happen or occur, not always intentionally;
make a stir
Synonyms: cause / do
make (v.)
create or manufacture a man-made product;
Synonyms: produce / create
make (v.)
make, formulate, or derive in the mind;
make an estimate
What do you make of his remarks?
Synonyms: draw
make (v.)
compel or make somebody or something to act in a certain way;
Heat makes you sweat
People cannot be made to integrate just by passing a law!
make (v.)
create by artistic means;
Auden made verses
Synonyms: create
make (v.)
earn on some commercial or business transaction; earn as salary or wages;
How much do you make a month in your new job?
Synonyms: gain / take in / clear / earn / realize / realise / pull in / bring in
make (v.)
create or design, often in a certain way;
Synonyms: do
make (v.)
to compose or represent;
This makes a fine introduction
The branches made a roof
Synonyms: form / constitute
make (v.)
reach a goal;
We made it!
make the first team
She may not make the grade
Synonyms: reach / get to / progress to
make (v.)
be or be capable of being changed or made into;
He makes a great host
He will make a fine father
make (v.)
make by shaping or bringing together constituents;
make a cake
make a dress
make a wall of stones
make (v.)
perform or carry out;
make a move
make advances
make a decision
make a phone call
make (v.)
make by combining materials and parts;
this little pig made his house out of straw
Synonyms: construct / build
make (v.)
change from one form into another;
make water into wine
make lead into gold
make clay into bricks
make (v.)
act in a certain way so as to acquire;
make friends
make enemies
make (v.)
charge with a function; charge to be;
She was made president of the club
Synonyms: name / nominate
make (v.)
achieve a point or goal;
She made 29 points that day
Synonyms: have / get
make (v.)
reach a destination, either real or abstract;
We barely made it to the finish line
Synonyms: reach / attain / hit / arrive at / gain
make (v.)
institute, enact, or establish;
make laws
Synonyms: lay down / establish
make (v.)
carry out or commit;
make a mistake
make (v.)
form by assembling individuals or constituents;
make (v.)
organize or be responsible for;
have, throw, or make a party
Synonyms: hold / throw / have / give
make (v.)
put in order or neaten;
make up a room
make the bed
Synonyms: make up
make (v.)
head into a specified direction;
We made for the mountains
Synonyms: take
make (v.)
have a bowel movement;
The dog had made in the flower beds
Synonyms: stool / defecate / shit / take a shit / take a crap / ca-ca / crap
make (v.)
undergo fabrication or creation;
This wool makes into a nice sweater
make (v.)
be suitable for;
Wood makes good furniture
make (v.)
add up to;
four and four make eight
make (v.)
amount to;
This salary increase makes no difference to my standard of living
make (v.)
constitute the essence of;
Clothes make the man
make (v.)
appear to begin an activity;
He made to speak but said nothing in the end
She made as if to say hello to us
make (v.)
proceed along a path;
make one's way into the forest
Synonyms: work
make (v.)
reach in time;
We barely made the plane
make (v.)
gather and light the materials for;
make a fire
make (v.)
prepare for eating by applying heat;
can you make me an omelette?
Synonyms: cook / fix / ready / prepare
make (v.)
induce to have sex;
Harry made Sally
Synonyms: seduce / score
make (v.)
assure the success of;
A good review by this critic will make your play!
make (v.)
represent fictitiously, as in a play, or pretend to be or act like;
She makes like an actress
Synonyms: pretend / make believe
make (v.)
consider as being;
It wasn't the problem some people made it
make (v.)
calculate as being;
I make the height about 100 feet
make (v.)
cause to be enjoyable or pleasurable;
make my day
make (v.)
favor the development of;
Practice makes the winner
make (v.)
develop into;
He will make a splendid father!
make (v.)
behave in a certain way;
make merry
make (v.)
eliminate urine;
Again, the cat had made on the expensive rug
Synonyms: urinate / piddle / puddle / micturate / piss / pee / pee-pee / make water / relieve oneself / take a leak / spend a penny / wee / wee-wee / pass water
make (n.)
a recognizable kind;
what make of car is that?
Synonyms: brand
make (n.)
the act of mixing cards haphazardly;
Synonyms: shuffle / shuffling