Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “make sth up”

make sth up

verb uk phrasal verb with make   /meɪk/ (made, made) us  

(INVENT)

B2 to invent something, such as an excuse or a story, often in order to deceive: I made up an excuse about having to look after the kids. My dad was always really good at making up stories.

(PREPARE)

to prepare or arrange something by putting different things together: Could you make up a list of all the things that need to be done? He asked the man behind the counter to make up a box with a mixed selection of chocolates. The maid will make up your room later. specialized fabrics to produce or prepare something from cloth: We could use the rest of the material to make up some curtains. specialized publishing If you make up a page, book, or newspaper, you arrange the text and pictures in the form in which they will be printed. If you make up a bed for someone, you put sheets and covers on a bed so that they have a place to sleep in your home. UK If you make up a fire, you prepare it or put more wood or coal on it when it is burning.

(COMPLETE)

to make an amount of something complete or correct: I have £20,000 and I need £25,000 but my parents have promised to make up the difference.UK I suspect we were only invited to make up numbers (= to provide enough people).

(REPLACE)

to reduce or replace something, usually an amount of time or work, that has been lost: We're hoping to make up time on the return journey by not stopping at night. You'll have to make up the work you've missed while you were away.
(Definition of make sth up from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of make sth up?
Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Filling and completing, but you might be interested in these topics from the Full and empty topic area:

Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

“make sth up” in English

    Definitions of “make sth up” in other dictionaries

    Word of the Day

    for starters

    used to say that something is the first in a list of things

    Word of the Day

    Come on – you can do it! Phrasal verbs with ‘come’.

    by Liz Walter​,
    November 19, 2014
    As part of an occasional series on the tricky subject of phrasal verbs, this blog looks at ones formed with the verb ‘come’. If you are reading this blog, I’m sure you already know come from, as it is one of the first things you learn in class: I come from Scotland/Spain.

    Read More 

    ped-text verb

    November 24, 2014
    to text someone while walking I’m ped-texting, I’m looking down at my phone, 75 percent of the time.

    Read More